press release

The Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Bologna, in partnership with Promotor International, with the collaboration of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and with the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, presents DRIVE. Automobili nell'arte contemporanea. The exhibition, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Bologna Motor Show will accompany the visitors to the most important trade fair in the sector on a journey through the universe of the most surprising and striking artistic creations to be found in modern art. The exhibition will include some 20 large-scale installations from around the world, and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue published by Damiani Editore.

Drive sets out to explore one of the most powerful legends of modernity through the works of some of the most prominent contemporary artists - Franz Ackermann - Mario Airò - Elisabetta Benassi - Peter Cain- Plamen Dejanoff - Sylvie Fleury- Giuseppe Gabellone - Robert Longo - Michel Majerus - Julian Opie - Tobias Rehberger - Jason Rhoades - Bojan Sarcevic - Andreas Slominski - Simon Starling - Rirkrit Tiravanija - Costa Vece- Xavier Veilhan - Erwin Wurm - Andrea Zittel – studying the way in which these artists have come to terms with and re-invented automobile aesthetics, examining both its social role and its influence on the collective imagination. While for the avant-gardes of yesteryear, the car was a synonym of speed and progress, the myth of the automobile to this day plays a key role in the strategies of mass communication and consumerism, the logic and the excesses of which it approaches from an alternative point of view.

Placed on the level of technological prosthesis of the human body, the elaboration of the automobile theme has given rise to various mechanisms of reappraisal and re-appropriation of the object. Artists and designers of the second half of the last century, with their groundbreaking elaborations and surprising deconstructions and recompositions, gave life to entirely new forms which bear witness to a radical transformation and an entirely new perception of objects. The symbolic values tied up with a modernist idea of development thus change their message and become food for thought as regards the at times conflicting and contradictory relationship that we have with technology.

The works of Plamen Dejanoff reflect the needs of the artist to redefine his image using the same communication strategies adopted by a multinational company, and explore the links between culture and economics. This is why we see 40 crystal models on display of the cars believed to be best suited to the new identity of the artist, who radically altered his lifestyle in a process of osmosis between art and life.

Sylvie Fleury with her neon Faster! Bigger! Better!, hung on the wall in a room with an asphalt floor, examines the unbridled race to satisfy needs which become ever more out of hand, and which change at a terrifying rate together with the products to be so voraciously consumed, such as automobiles.

Jason Rhoades completely destroyed and rebuilt a racing car using common objects: chairs instead of the wheels, sticks with cog-wheels for the seat, pieces of carpet and cigarette packets. The work mirrors our consumer society where cars and other objects are produced and then immediately turned into rubbish, posing itself as a metaphor of the dynamics of our social interaction.

Simon Starling presents a modified Fiat 126, motorless and hung on a wall. In 2002 the artist travelled in this car (built in 1974) from Turin, home of the Fiat, to Cieszyn in Poland, where the car is produced to this day. Once in Cieszyn, Starling rebuilt the bonnet, the boot and the car doors with white spare parts from the Polish Fiat factory. The red and white colours are reminiscent of those of the Polish flag (Flaga), and emblematic of the historical, political and industrial relationships between Italy and Poland.

Xavier Veilhan presents a hand-made reconstruction of a Ford T, well-known as the first automobile built on an assembly line, one step closer towards the logic of mass production, yet he deliberately includes an almost comical element of disturbance through the slowness with which the car slides along its tracks.

Rirkrit Tiravanija examines the issue of moving and travelling by car, which thanks to its multifunctional nature offers up moments of conviviality. The car, complete with portable kitchen and video cameras, will travel from Zurich to Bologna especially for this exhibition. The journey shall be documented by a video which is to be projected in the Gallery.

Ervin Wurm’s Fat Car, a well-rounded Alfa Romeo of an apparently rubbery consistency is a car which swells bizarrely and deforms uncontrollably with its rolls of flab which “drip” along the bonnet and the doors. In a perfect antithesis with today’s dominant aesthetics characterised by an ongoing research for physical perfection, the obesity of the car reflects the opulence of our consumer society, towards which the artist expresses his lack of enthusiasm with canny irony.

Andrea Zittel also reflects on the marketing strategies adopted by companies but by subverting their logic: the work commissioned by Daimler Chrysler is a circular wooden structure of which the blue carpet harps back to the brand of the commissioning company.

In view of the 30 years of the Motor Show, the Associazione Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea - Ascom Bologna and Promotor International present the exhibition “Mito Auto Moto 2". In the Sala d'Ercole of Palazzo d’Accursio, 30 works by artists from around the world will be on display up until 30th January 2006, stretching back to the fifties right up to the present day.


only in german

DRIVE. Automobili nell'arte contemporanea
Kurator: Gianfranco Maraniello

mit Franz Ackermann, Mario Airo, Elisabetta Benassi, Peter Cain, Plamen Dejanoff, Sylvie Fleury, Giuseppe Gabellone, Robert Longo, Michel Majerus, Julian Opie, Tobias Rehberger, Jason Rhoades, Bojan Sarcevic, Andreas Slominski, Simon Starling, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Costa Vece, Xavier Veilhan, Erwin Wurm, Andrea Zittel