This “Dead Astronaut” is a sculpture by Brandon Vickard, and I can’t quite figure out what is going on with this sculpture. As if astronauts didn’t have enough to worry about (sudden loss of pressure, micrometorites, cosmic radiation, etc.) one astronaut has to worry about termites. Even though this dead astronaut is made out of dead wood, the sculpture has a life of its own. Living in gallery space, this would-be explorer begs questions. These questions may vary from the questions inspired by living astronauts; mostly about the ideas that launched the sculpture. Surely a poplar Apollo suit complete with a skull is grounded in something.
We can look at the expression of the dead astronaut, our observations branching out into new questions rooted in the expression of the skull. Usually the face is hiding behind a reflective visor that protects retinas from UV light, our astronaut may not be worried about UV rays… Because um… he’s not real. However, as long as we wonder what his purpose is and what territory he is exploring, he really isn’t dead at all.