- Charles Ray’s Unpainted Sculpture (1997):
- “Sylvie Fleury’s wrecked Fiat covered in pink nail polish at World Class Boxing” (via @cmonstah):
- Lisa Hanawalt’s car crashes (there’s a better b&w one, but I couldn’t find it online):
- JG Ballard’s Crash…
But actually before including literature and comic books and rock songs and feral ferrets and whatever else, there is something to be said about the sculptural aspect of the wrecked car that lotsa contemporary artists, surely more than the few listed above, have seized upon. A wrecked car is an interesting sculptural subject because, in reproducing it, the artist is engaging with a mass-produced object, performing the same maneuver that Duchamp made with his readymades, putting a snow shovel in the gallery (or Warhol after him) — but unlike a shovel or a soup can the wrecked car is a mass-produced object that’s been transformed and mangled by the forces of chance, which pushes the sculpture away from the mass-produced sameness of a urinal into the realm of singular one-of-a-kind miraculous snowflake novelty and originality that (some) art aspires to???????? but still an originality that originates with the world (e.g. the uniqueness of the wreck happened in the world, and not in the artist’s imagination.)
Is Fleury’s nail-polish car a reference to Ray’s Unpainted Sculpture? Ray left the crash unpainted in featureless primer gray, emphasizing the wreck’s status as an art object. Leaving the sculpture unpainted pulls it away from reading as a readymade car crash and makes the viewer consider it as an object. Fleury keeps her car wreck monochrome, too, but it’s the brightest, sweetest monochrome available. Is she “playfully” emphasizing the “pop“ associations with the act of putting a wrecked car in a gallery?
(Why does art, when you try to write about it, make you sound like a mangled herringbone coughed up by a Soviet émigré aesthete? Why when I’m too sleepy to “work at my real job” do I still feel like it’s OK to discursively barf all over this snowy webpage? AND SO ON)