Exploration is the word of the day every day at SPACE PROGRAM: EUROPA, an installation envisioned by Tom Sachs at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Visitors are transported to one of Jupiter's icy moons, which astronauts have begun to make themselves at home with creature comforts such as a Japanese water feature and an entire "Shoe Library." The centerpiece is the landing module, but there is a variety of works that transform the YBCA's largest gallery into a sci-fi landscape. Sach's sculptures are quirky and complex; nothing ever is what it seems at first glance, and a perusal of EUROPA's artifacts constantly reveals new whimsy in fresh details: The "Indoctrination Station" is inscribed with poems, the landing module features a vodka bar, and the faux Japanese style stone lantern is an assemblage of buckets, a cooler, a USPS crate, and other found objects. The sculptures bear the marks of their craftsmanship, suggesting that the creator does not seek to perfectly replicate or represent true functionality, rather to imagine in a man-child kind of way. The viewer explores Sach's transformational assemblies and puzzling references as they imagine the inhabitants of this space, who at once must be boldly futuristic and while still looking to nostalgia and tradition for inspiration. The exhibit also includes a three-dimensional timeline of Sach's aesthetic and work, featuring several of his smaller sculptures alongside images and texts.
Apparently there's going to be some elaborate performance on closing day, January 13. I'll probably go back to check it out. Click here for event info!
Indoctrinate yourself with some videos before you go.
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