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inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg

TOM SACHS RECEIVES THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 GOLDEN MADONNINA

 

artist tom sachs, winner of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 in the category ‘in the artistic realm’, receives the golden madonnina at deichtorhallen hamburg and walks us through his latest exhibition, ‘space program: rare earths’. designboom traveled to the german city to celebrate the opening of sachs’s fourth space exploration, following the one to the moon at gagosian (2007), mars at the park avenue armory (2012, more here), and jupiter’s icy moon europa at the yerba buena center for the arts (2016, more here); and witness first hand the live demonstration that took place on saturday, september 18.

 

in ‘space program: rare earths’, sachs’s astronauts head on a hand-crafted mission to 4-VESTA, the brightest and closest asteroid to earth, with one goal: to harvest the protoplanet’s rare earth minerals, needed to perpetuate earth’s addiction to technology. together with his team of sculptor-astronauts, the artist has transformed the deichtorhallen’s impressive hall of contemporary art into an interactive landscape featuring original sculptures and bricolage works. all that is necessary for survival is engineered from plywood, cardboard, resin, screws, tape, and paint and other tools of their trade.

in the video above, tom sachs receives THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 golden madonnina, and accompanies us through his latest interstellar mission, showing us all major features of the ‘space program: rare earths’.

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
‘space program: rare earths’ welcome center, past the entrance of the deichtorhallen hamburg | image © designboom

 

 

‘space program: rare earths’ at deichtorhallen hamburg 

 

‘it’s been many thousands of years that we’ve learned not only to control fire, but to achieve global telepathy (through our hand held devices), but at some cost,’ says tom sachs during our tour at the deichtorhallen hamburg. ‘today we go to other worlds to get more earth elements and gold to feed our addiction.’ on display from september 19, 2021 to april 10, 2022, ‘space program: rare earths’ immerses visitors in an expansive sculptural landscape of more than 3,000 sqm consisting of bricolage works bearing sachs‘s distinct aesthetic.

 

like in the previous space explorations, the hamburg exhibition offers areas where visitors can interact, including ‘indoctrination’, where they are given the opportunity to join the space program. willing participants prove their worth through a series of tasks and questions to earn the exclusive right to visit areas open only to those who complete the program successfully. the exhibition brings together familiar equipment from past missions, such as the mobile quarantine facility, the space suits and the landing excursion module (LEM), and new installations such as ‘transubstantiation’. there, visitors become part of a studio-made ritual that includes submitting your mobile device in an alchemist’s lab adorned with the striking spires of the chartres cathedral.

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
space suit detail | image © designboom

 

 

designboom had the chance to attend the live demonstration of ‘space program: rare earths’ on saturday, september 18, 2021. the audience sat on folding chairs, each of which individually screen printed with the NASA logo and hand labeled with a hero’s name from personalities who are inspirational to the artist. throughout the entire day, sachs and his crew brought to life the program’s flight plan, starting from the astronauts’ preparations, to launch, lift off, and landing to 4-VESTA; followed by a series of stopovers before returning to earth. see more images of the exhibition and live demonstration in the gallery below.

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
the landing excursion model (LEM) takes two astronauts to another world, and returns them safely to earth | image © designboom

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
mission control center (MCC)| image © designboom

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image © designboom

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
tom sachs with THE DESIGN PRIZE 2021 golden madonnina | image © designboom

inside the launch of tom sachs space program: rare earths at deichtorhallen hamburg
THE DESIGN PRIZE golden madonnina in the space program’s indoctrination area | image © designboom

 

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the story of the journey to 4-VESTA is relayed via mission control | image © designboom

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space suit | image © designboom
space suit | image © designboom
NASA chair | image © designboom
NASA chair | image © designboom
indoctrination desk | image © designboom
indoctrination desk | image © designboom
the landing excursion model (LEM) | image © designboom
the landing excursion model (LEM) | image © designboom
mars excursion roving vehicle (MERV) | image © designboom
mars excursion roving vehicle (MERV) | image © designboom
during the live demonstration | image © designboom
during the live demonstration | image © designboom
tom sachs in the 'robert irwin scrim clean air room (RISCAR)' image © designboom
tom sachs in the 'robert irwin scrim clean air room (RISCAR)' image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
at the transubstantiation ritual | image © designboom
at the transubstantiation ritual | image © designboom
mission control center (MCC) | image © designboom
mission control center (MCC) | image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
the golden madonnina | image © designboom
the golden madonnina | image © designboom
during the indoctrination process | image © designboom
during the indoctrination process | image © designboom
indoctrination area | image © designboom
indoctrination area | image © designboom
astronaut application forms | image © designboom
astronaut application forms | image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
the tea house | image © designboom
the tea house | image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
bonsai original | image © designboom
bonsai original | image © designboom
during the live demonstration | image © designboom
during the live demonstration | image © designboom
at the live demonstration | image © designboom
at the live demonstration | image © designboom
image © designboom
image © designboom
the end! | image © designboom
the end! | image © designboom

project info:

 

name: space program: rare earths

artist: tom sachs

location: deichtorhallen hamburg

duration: september 19, 2021 – april 10, 2022

 

THE DESIGN PRIZE is an annual award program that celebrates excellence on a global scale. initiated in 2017 and curated by designboom, with patronage by the city of milan, THE DESIGN PRIZE recognizes both the extraordinary achievements and little sparks of beauty and delight that have emerged over the past 12 months.

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