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Simon Patterson

Manned Flight

1 November 2000 — 31 January 2001

Simon Patterson’s work Manned flight is a man-carrying surveillance kite inscribed with the name of the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Gagarin made history when he completed the first manned space flight, orbiting the Earth in 1961. Tragically seven years later, at a time when he was being marginalized by the Soviet authorities, he died when his aeroplane crashed on a routine training flight. In 1973 an asteroid in the constellation of Leo was named after him. Patterson positioned the kite between the columns of Baskerville House, a bombastic municipal building, so that it appeared to have fallen precariously from the skies, a memorial to Gagarin and metaphor for the fallacies of hope.