by Shawn Ghassemitari
Tom Sachs is back with another installment in his Space Program Series — a 13-year exploration into the boundaries of interplanetary travel and human capabilities. In “SPACE PROGRAM: RARE EARTHS,” the American artist has transformed the expansive halls of Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen into an immersive laboratory of video, sculpture and aeronautics.
As soon as visitors arrive, they will be asked to leave their phones aside to take part in an indoctrination process that requires you to “prove your worth” through a series of questions that will grant you access to take part on Sach’s team. Those who pass the test can both witness and take part in a labyrinth of recreated glimpses from past space missions, such as the Landing Excursion Module (LEM) and Mission Control.
In “SPACE PROGRAM: RARE EARTHS,” Sachs and crew are heading to VESTA — the brightest and closest asteroid to Earth — with the mission to mine the rare minerals needed to quench what Sachs describes as “Earth’s addiction to technology.” For those in attendance, there will be a limited run of 100 Mission Control NASA chairs designed by Sachs, which will be available for purchase at the museum’s store. Each chair is signed and numbered by the artist and features a screen-printed NASA logo and a name of a character who has inspired Sachs throughout the years.
Sachs’ latest exhibition may be his most ambitious to date and will be on view at Hamburg’s Deichtorhallen until April 10, 2022.