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Art Sonje Center presents Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination

June 22–August 7, 2022

“Going to the moon was THE art project of the twentieth century.”
“We go to other worlds not because we’ve fucked up this planet and are looking for a new home, but to better understand our resources here on Earth.”
—Tom Sachs

Tom Sachs Space Program: Indoctrination, an exhibition by the artist Tom Sachs, will run from June 22 to August 7, 2022, at the Art Sonje Center (directed by Jang un Kim). It is Sachs’ fifth exhibition in his Space Program series, which he started in 2007. It is also his first solo exhibition in South Korea.

Tom Sachs, a sculptor and visionary, was born in 1966 and creatively reframes American DIY culture and bricolage techniques. Sachs, a self-admitted consumer in the age of immediate gratification, raises concerns about the overconsumption of today and the short lifespan of the goods we buy. His primary method of illuminating the patterns of contemporary labor and capital within industrial and artistic production centers on displaying the human traces of the hand throughout the object’s manufacture.

Sunjung Kim, the artistic director of ASJC, has curated Space Program: Indoctrination. It is not a survey. It serves as an indoctrination center for the studio’s principles; the curtain has been pulled back to display visitors both the process and the philosophy involved in creating each piece. The sculptures in Space 1 include a bricolage replica of the Saturn V Moon Rocket from the Apollo Program and a variety of Special Effects sculptures that were activated during each voyage and are now all on display as totemic memorials to Sachs’ earlier trips to other planets.

Visitors are welcome to the Indoctrination Center in Space 2 to learn about the Studio’s theology and rituals by taking part in missions and knowledge exams necessary to be accepted as new members of Sachs’ Space Program. Re-watching the Required Viewing movies shown at the Re-education Center in the Art Hall gives those who fail a second chance.

Sculpture is used to construct a handcrafted, reorganized version of NASA’s moon landing strategy. The space program is an exploration of uncharted territory that offers a fresh perspective on humankind’s survival both here on Earth and elsewhere. The Space Program on display at the Art Sonje Center functions as an educational center for those looking to learn what it takes to go to space with plywood, duct tape, and solder if Sachs’ space programs of the past are viewed as a full activation—sharing a glimpse and experience of the process of exploring and colonizing new environments in search of new resources.

Tom Sachs’ Space Program is an ambitious interpretation of human desires and adventures beyond a world that has already been colonized by our modernization and industrialization process. It begins with the moon and moves on to Mars, then to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, and most recently to the asteroid 4-Vesta. The exhibition is a place for education and gaining a new understanding of the anthropocene and humanity’s impact on this world and other worlds because it serves as a setting for demonstrating, experiencing, and participating in the meticulous indoctrination process that propels the space program and the associated adventure.

A reversal of the trend in modernization toward items with cleaner, simpler, and more flawless edges, Tom Sachs’ (b. 1966, New York) genre-defying mixed media sculptures frequently recreate modern symbols using common materials. The sculptures created by Sachs are obviously handcrafted; they were painstakingly pieced together from porcelain, steel, resin, and plywood. The sculptures’ scars and flaws reveal how they were made and take them out of the category of miraculous creation. His ten-person studio team practices transparency and plywood worship like a teaching hospital or cult.

Art Sonje Center
87 Yulgok-ro 3-gil, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul
South Korea
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm,
Wednesday 12–9pm

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