Light One In Ether

kinetic installation, T-shirt with the printout of the photo of Juri Gagarin, Predom electric fan, polaroid photo of the author, cotton thread, 2001-2007 

In ‘The Light One In the Ether’, Bakowski pays an ironic homage to Juri Gagarin, the first man in space, an icon of the ideology of technological progress and human expansion.
The astronaut’s nonexistent body (as was revealed in 1984, his body never found from the plane crash that killed him) is recalled here through a T-shirt bearing his image.
The empty shirt is filled with air being pumped by a small electric fan, making the impression that someone has it on. Bakowski invokes Gagarin’s spirit – or perhaps only manipulates the viewer,
skilfully pulling the strings of imagination. And indeed, we find a cord in the ‘Light One In the Ether’ installation, exposing the artist as the “master of puppets.”
The cord is tied to the T-shirt, right where Gagarin is baring his teeth in a smile.
The cord’s other end, of course, is held by the artist, made present by a small photo hanging on the wall.

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