the right stuff

There is something thrilling about entering into a very specific, fully realized world not your own – even if you don’t necessarily “get it.” Tom Sachs’ Space Program: Mars currently installed in the titanic Wade Thompson Drill Hall at the Park Avenue Armory is just such a world. Marked by a striking curiosity and often ribald wit,  the films and displays which make up the bulk of the program are an invitation to reflect on abstract concepts, utopian follies and – I can’t believe I’m about to write this – dystopian realities. If that sounds like a load of bollocks, don’t be afraid: it’s not nearly as precious as all that. Think of it as a call to look at our consumer culture slightly askance; one that cajoles rather than demands your participation. (Sachs-designed Nike sneakers worn in the space program are on sale in the gift shop, too, for anyone easily seduced out of $380.) And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t entirely “get it” – so, no worries about my going into too much detail and spoiling that sense of discovery – but that’s not going to stop me from revisiting Sachs’ inquisitive vision and contemplating it once again.

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