An exhibition in which 32 artists make work about the automobile
curated by Sarah Sparkes
Few things have had a greater impact on 20th century life and culture than the motor car. In a hundred years or so it has metamorphosed from
exotic plaything of the rich to indispensable adjunct to life in all developed societies. Freedom machine, sex symbol, design and status icon,
offensive weapon, agent of pollution, devourer of the earth’s resources– it is all of these and more. From the romance of James Dean,
Princess Diana, Jackson Pollock, the list goes on ...beautiful machines on the edge of death, to the weekly visit to the supermarket, the car is
‘The more you drive, the less intelligent you are’ states one of the characters in Alex Cox’s cult movie, Repo Man. Driving being seen here as a
mindless act in which any intellect is lost when operating an unthinking, unfeeling machine. Maybe, this is the view many of us have from the
outside, as a potential ‘road-kill’ victim. However, from the inside as passenger or driver we can become transported into a realm of freedom,
the car becoming a vehicle for our aspirations. We can lose our selves inside what Ballard referred to as ‘a huge metallised dream.’ As such,
cars become metaphors for otherness, for escape, for our own private space, for the way we imprint our fantasies on life. ‘Like all epochal
icons, the car does not mean one thing, but many things. In that sense, it is an ‘empty sign’. It is a vacuum. We fill it with meaning’ - as Allen
Samuels states in 'Autopia'
My most vivid early memories are of being driven, lying on my back in the car seeing a blur of trees, buildings, sky, a non-place in which to drift
and dream. Later as a young teenager I would goad my father to drive faster and faster, loving the adrenaline rush that the car’s speed
induced. That thrill of compressing time and space as a vector of speed became a repository of theory for the likes of Baudrillard and Virillo.
Out of this process it is not surprising the car is fetishised, and it is not difficult to see why artists love cars. They are sculptural objects. A drive
in a car takes us on a visual journey, quite literally altering our perspective on life. The form they describe. The noise they make. The marks
they leave. The car can evoke both nostalgia and the future.
Despite living in an age when the car has become demonised as polluter of the planet, I have to confess a love of driving - it is our dirty secret,
as in the 21st Century it becomes a forbidden pleasure - gridlock permitting. With that in mind, ‘Driven’ is a group show that concentrates on
the psychological hit that cars can deliver. Through the way they transport us into imagined worlds this exhibition aims to address something
of this complex relationship.
|PRIVATE VIEW: Friday, 29 June, 2007, 6-9 pm
EXHIBITION CONTINUES: 30 June - 29 July
GALLERY OPEN: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 1-6 pm
THE DRIVEN ARTISTS ARE:
THURSDAY, 5 JULY 2007, 6-9 pm
READING starts at 7:30 pm
Mikey Cuddihy reads her new story, 'Dinner at the Drive in Movies’
FRIDAY, 27 JULY 2007, 6-9 pm
DRIVEN BY CARS
Artist Films and Artist Talk, selected by Ricarda Vidal
Saturday - Sunday, 28-29 July
CEDRIC CHRISTIE's Disciples of History
gallery open until 9 pm on Saturday, 28 July
For the weekend 28/29 July, we will be putting the complete set of the
Disciples Of History in the gallery (All 12 cars that went on the crusade
from London...Basel...Kassel...Munster…in convoy). The numbers on each
car show the year of that Documenta - 55 being the first one - 1955 and so
on (e.g., 59, 64, 68, etc.). Each car has a selection of artists from the
Documenta of that year with the curator’s name under the number.
With special thanks for the support of Richard Strange.
|SPONSORSHIP FOR THIS EXHIBITION HAS
BEEN KINDLY PROVIDED BY