Last night at the Park Avenue Armory, American sculptor Tom Sachs unveiled Phase Two of his ongoing Space Program, titled Space Program: Mars. The artist and his team of 13 astro-artists spent three years imagining and creating the components necessary for survival, scientific exploration, and colonization on the Red Planet, using readily available new and salvaged materials and sculpted in signature Sachs bricolage.
In addition to a mission control set-up, the show features a food-delivery conveyor belt, an astronaut gym, systems for waste control and a space rover. “Ours is crappy, but that’s why it’s magic” mused the space-obsessed Sachs in a press conference, who first endeavored to explore the final frontier with his 2007 Gagosian show Space Program.
Through Space Program, Sachs’ team, dressed as NASA scientists and astronauts, highlight the artistic process as they use duct tape to continually alter and fix the works.
The extensive show, which included over 50 sculptures and a collaboration with Nike creating custom shoes and clothing to endure the harsh elements of Mars, succeeds in highlighting the obsessive, personal and pioneering (of a distinctly American kind) cultural fetishization of interstellar exploration and colonization.
“Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.”
Photography Kathryn Chadason
Presented by Creative Time. Through June 17 at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue at 66th Street.