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'Space Program: Mars' exhibit brings NASA's glory days to Park Avenue

'Space Program: Mars' exhibit brings NASA's glory days to Park Avenue


Tom Sach's latest exhibition, 'Space Program: Mars' has turned the 55,000-square-foot Park Avenue Armory into a space-age art installation.

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Artist Tom Sachs' latest installation could be seen as a "what might have been" if the golden age of space exploration had been allowed to continue unabated. In Space Program: Mars, he has taken on the Park Avenue Armory in New York City — a 55,000-square-foot space — and built up a fully immersive space exploration experience. A lot of this is firmly tongue in cheek, though: from the research tools constructed from everyday discarded objects like umbrellas and boomboxes, to the acronym-laden naming scheme (like the golf-buggy based Mars Excursion Roving Vehicle, or MERV, or the MILF fridge), but there's a definite sense of retro noststalgia about the whole project.

Space Program began in 2007, though it has grown significantly since its first exhibition. Sachs uses plywood to create the mounds and craters of the mars floor, while an audience looks on from a NASA-branded tier of seats. The NASA logo is everywhere here, and the exhibition acts as a poignant comment on whether our imagination, ingenuity, and drive matches that of the Apollo missions of the 1960s — especially following the closure of the space shuttle program last year. Space Program: Mars runs until the 17th of June, with tickets available from the exhibition's website.