EXIT #34 - Cars View larger

EXIT #34 - Cars

Producciones de Arte y Pensamiento, S.L.

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EditorialOlivares & Asociados SL
YearMay / 2009
LanguageSpanish / English
PagesFrom 160 to 200


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EXIT #34 - Cars

EXIT #34 analyses the relationship of cars and photography, from modernism to the present day.

The car, the machine par excellence, has a leading role in the history of photography. From its origins, simultaneous to photography's, the car has given rise to a series of themes which photography, better than any other artistic expression, has know how to reflect.

The structure of EXIT #34 was conceived bearing some of the most important themes systematically dealt with by photography in mind.

Peter Wollen, in the issue's main essay, traces the trajectory of the automobile in the visual arts, from DaVinci and Dürer, to the Futurists, the Pop art of the 1960s, to the culture of customisation, through to today's contemporary artists.

"This shift in the aesthetics of car design was one that brought automobile production into sync with art production. Artists too needed to establish themselves as brand-names and produce constant flows of work which was both recognizably theirs and continuously innovative. The practice of the automobile industry was aligned with that of the art world." Automobiles and Art, Peter Wollen.

Juan Naranjo Niño analyses the importance of the appearance of the automobile in the urban landscape, of how the car changed the idea of the urban landscape and how it related to its citizens and buildings.

"The automobile (...) became one of the symbols of the modern city's iconography and was adopted as a new subject by writers, painters and photographers. The association between the photographic camera and the car produced interesting results by enabling new approaches, giving rise to unusual images (...)." Urban Snapshots, Juan Naranjo Nino

One cannot discuss the journey today without automatically thinking about the car, about the road. Jack Kerouac's novel has become the symbol of that initiation trip, and at times, of destruction.

"The purity of the road. The white line in the middle of the highway unrolled and hugged our left front tyre as if glued to our groove." On the Road, Jack Kerouac.

The customising of the car, the manipulation of its body to bring it closer to our dreams and desires, the aim of making our car ultimately unique, outlines a relationship in which it is unclear who is more important, the owner or the automobile.

"What self-superiority, being able to order and control movement, more or less reproducing the behaviour of the universe! What an outstanding tool for our self to explore the notions of time and space! Yet what a pity the landscape should be so full of obstacles, beginning with the trees and the telegraph poles, for that self to freely and whimsically traverse the beauties of nature!" The Car and the Self, Felipe Hernández Cava.

It is not only social status, comfort and independence that comes with the car, but also a kind of addiction, a drug as dangerous as any other: speed.

"The 20th century, as Paul Virilio has explained better than anyone, was the age in which artificial, prosthetic acceleration of the biological speed of the human being (walking or running), linked for centuries to the horse, acquired critical mass by way of mechanisation through the development of the automobile and the aeroplane." Ben-Hur, Guderian and Michael Schumacher: Reasons for being in a hurry when power is everything, Francesc Torres.

The conclusion to the journey, to speed, to car mania, often culminates in the accident, in destruction, in death. Crash is a paradigmatic novel when thinking about the accident, a theme which many photographers have preferred to the beauty or the social relationship of the automobile.

"Out of my control, the car crossed the reservation and turned up the high-speed exit ramp. Three vehicles were approaching, mass-produced saloon cars whose exact model-year, colour schemes and external accessories I can still remember with the painful accuracy of a never-to-be-eluded nightmare." Crash, J. G. Ballard.

Texts: Peter Wollen, J. G. Ballard, Felipe Hernández Cava, Jack Kerouac, Juan Naranjo Niño, and Francesc Torres.
Artists: Ant Farm, Valérie Belin, Mario Bellusi, Joachim Brohm, Andrew Bush, Bernard Cahier, Paul-Henri Cahier, Harry Callahan, Sophie Calle, André Cepeda, Félix Curto, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, John Divola, Susan Egan, Mitch Epstein, Elliot Erwitt, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Maria Friberg, Bernhard Fuchs, Jellel Gasteli, Jonathan Gitelson, Gosbert Gottmann, José Guerrero, Andreas Gursky, Jacqueline Hassink, Herbert W. Hesselmann, Thaddeus Holownia, Nicolai Howalt, Chris Jordan, Dorothea Lange, Gonzalo Lebrija, Sarah Lucas, Enrique Metinides, Olaf Mooij, Arnold Odermatt, Ahmet Ögüt, Martin Parr, Robert Polidori, Edward Quinn, Jonás Revilla, Miguel Rio Branco, Ricarda Roggan, Meridel Rubenstein, Alberto Salván Zulueta, Jörg Sasse, Stephen Shore, Marta Soul, Amy Stein, Joel Sternfeld, Francesc Torres, Raffael Waldner, and Bruce Wrighton.