Tom Sachs first traveled to the moon in 2007, in a rocket made from plywood, foam-core, and hot glue that never actually managed to leave its launching pad, the Gagosian Gallery. For the next three weeks, Sachs brings to the Park Avenue Armory SPACE PROGRAM: MARS, a sweeping installation including life-sized spacecraft, exploratory vehicles, a Mission Control, and the surface of Mars itself, all made by hand.
Sachs and a crew of thirteen are inhabiting the Armory for the duration of the show, where they will perform the survival tasks necessary for long flights and scientific investigation using equipment created by Sachs. The crew both demonstrates and trains visitors in these techniques; the exhibit is entirely interactive and, hopefully, transporting. In Sachs’ hands, the mysterious soaring notion of space travel becomes a series of rituals and survival techniques, irrefutably grounded. The majestic craft are rendered in common found—one might say “earthy”—materials, reminding us where we come from as we aspire to greater lengths.