Tom Sachs: SPACE PROGRAM: MARS17/05/2012
Held in the incredible Park Avenue Armory, artist, Tom Sachs, has taken taken over the 55,000 square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall for his space mission to Mars. The premise of the unique show sees the viewer undertaking a mission to the red planet, with each sculpture/working model in the show a part of the mission; exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, food and space training all utilize the artist's signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio. Old caravans, vintage speakers, televisions, pin ball machines and additional assorted appliances have all been converted into working models for the space launch - and, remarkably, all of these models actually work - the result of some serious engineering. Television screens project real-time updates of the models and how gallery-goers interact with them in a CCTV-like scenario.
In addition to the show's main space, there is a cinema where viewers can digest the ten rules of the studio in which the exhibtion was created, whilst snacking on popcorn. Another room, dubbed 'Clean Air', functions as a quasi-quarantine zone to remove any 'Mars dust' a viewer may have picked up during the show, from their person.
Sachs and his thirteen launch crew worked for three years in a downtown studio to prepare the mission, and the high level of dedication to the project carries over to the exhibition itself with each member of the team on hand at the show to put each working model.
Nike's role in the show is paramount, with the sportswear brand providing the uniform for Sachs' training program, as showcased in the first part of the exhibition, and also completing the attire of space travelers to Mars.
Tom Sachs: Nikecraft available at 1948 London on 18th May and Dover St Market on 23rd May
Photographer - Ben Rayner