For half a century a rocket engine serves its mission of keeper of security and that of a vehicle to the outer space. Borne of a daring idea and then become a mechanism, it remains an artistic symbol, a fantastic sculpture of infinity.
The material is unique: most part of it has been filed confidential and thus kept away from the general public. The rocket engine and the process of its making have become a mysterious and a fascinating ritual with a grand, liturgic vibration.
A mystery is a system of extra complexity. Each detail holds a meaning for the observer. Precise movements of the CNC router and the way a skillful worker manipulates white-hot metal fullers. Tests in supercharged recompression chamber and silent buzz of a power tool amidst the greenery planted in the workshops for oxygen compensation. Hum of the trolleys with metallic pigs passing along the factory corridors, and monumental industrial frescoes stretching up to the sky. Machine grease and milk, icy mist and hot steel facings. Gestures of the engineers and eyes of the workshop cats.
The way the engine is borne is a synthesis of the grand and the humble, as it happens in art, where a little, almost unnoticeable detail may become the trigger for producing a work of art. And the vessel itself is only an impulse for the flight. Its life is momentary; it lasts only for a few minutes starting the flight.
In today's unique situation the mechanism serves as a radical metaphor for creative process. There are no analogues to the Russian rocket engine. There are no analogues to the artistic method of its research either. We are the witnesses to the synergy of two processes: of a complex and precise, in many aspects manual production, and of a research of its metaphysical basis executed with the same attention to detail.
The whole idea of Strategic Heritage bears resemblance to the tradition of unperturbed and inspired recording of tectonic shifts of Existence, as it happened in the times of the classical antiquity, of the Renaissance, at the turn of the last century.
To save life on Earth brave Perseus had to look in the face of Medusa reflected in his shield. In order to resurrect Lasarus on his canvas, Caravaggio was painting a body of a murdered young man. Its dark shades, as X-ray images, left no doubt in the reality of the miracle, in the same doubtless manner as the apocalyptic needle of Durer and the manifesting one of Rembrandt.
Further on, shielding their eyes from blinding energies of futurism, Giorgio de Chirico and Pavel Filonov in the illumination of towers and holy faces again denuded the incorruptible relics of God. In the rocket engines of engineer Glushkov, in the atmosphere of the video shot in Energomash workshops is the same classical quietude of deferred action.