Space Program MarsExhibition |
Fly me to the moon
Tom Sachs' new show Space Program Mars does its best to fill the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, a difficult task for a single artist with just one theme. Part lo-fi performance piece, part prop display, Sachs seems to be pining for a moment in his (and the culture's) childhood when science fiction and real life briefly came together. Using the iconography of the 1969 moon landing as a launching pad, Sachs makes concrete the ethereal notion of space exploration through his affection for the constructed object. Exacting in his conception and execution of the concept, the space buzzes with white-lab-coated attendants who bark instructions through walkie-talkies, the electronic crackle a nostalgic hum infusing the entire experience. A life-size Landing Module and elaborate system of camera feeds achieve the desired effect of transporting the visitor. Lest things get too serious, he'll sabotage his mission strategically here and there with a well-placed Pez dispenser or Darth Vader helmet. At its heart the show is a playful yet bold stance against the miniaturizing of invention that has infected both science and art. Which, according to the training I had to undergo at the "indoctrination" booth, are both types of magic.
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