SPACE PROGRAM: Indoctrination

June 23 - August 7, 2022

Art Sonje Center (Director Jang un Kim) presents Tom Sachs SPACE PROGRAM: Indoctrination, an exhibition of the artist Tom Sachs, from June 22 to August 7, 2022. It is Sachs’ first solo exhibition ever in South Korea and the fifth exhibition in his Space Program series, which began in 2007.

Born in 1966, Tom Sachs is a sculptor and visionary who recontextualizes American do-it-yourself culture and bricolage methodologies in original ways. An admitted guilty consumer living in the age of instant gratification, Sachs questions today’s ways of overconsumption and the brief life-cycle of the things we buy. His central focus relies on showing the human traces of the hand throughout the object’s construction, to illuminate the structures of modern labor and capital within industrial and artistic production.

SPACE PROGRAM: Indoctrination is not a survey. It is an Indoctrination Center presenting the values of the studio; the curtain has been pulled back to show visitors not only how each work is made, but the philosophy behind the making. The sculptures in Gallery 1 include a bricolage version of the Apollo Program’s Saturn V Moon Rocket, and an array of Special Effects sculptures activated during each mission, each now displayed as totemic tributes to Sachs’ historical journeys to other worlds.

The Indoctrination Center in Gallery 2 welcomes visitors to learn about the Studio’s doctrine and rituals, by participating in missions and tests of knowledge required for recognition as new members of Sachs’ SPACE PROGRAM. Those who fail are given a second chance after re-watching the Required Viewing videos presented at the Re-education Center in the Art Hall.

A handmade, restructured version of NASA’s moon landing plan is realized through Sculpture. SPACE PROGRAM is an adventure into new frontiers, bringing a new understanding of mankind’s existence and survival on Earth, and beyond. 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—the SPACE PROGRAM on view at Art Sonje Center operates as an educational center for those seeking to learn what it takes to go to space with plywood, duct tape, and solder.

Starting with the moon and continuing on to Mars, then to Jupiter’s icy moon known as Europa, and most recently to the asteroid 4-Vesta, Tom Sachs’ SPACE PROGRAM represents the artist’s bold spin on the desires of human beings, and adventures beyond a world that has already been colonized through our modernization and industrialization process. As a setting for showing, experiencing, and taking part in the meticulous indoctrination process that drives the space program and the associated adventure, the exhibition is a place for education and gaining a new understanding of the anthropocene and humanity’s effect on this world and other worlds.