Car Fetish

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Superflex, Burning Car, 2008

When I think of car fetish I immediately think of David Cronenberg's 1996 film Crash. Its the erotic tale of a group of sexual outsiders who get their rocks off in car wrecks. One scene in particular, where Rosanna Arquette's character, who wears fish-nets and leg braces–obviously the result of some previous dalliance gone awry, and Holly Hunter's character get it on in the back of an old car.  Theres a word for this kind of fetish–its called paraphilia, or an attraction to objects.

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Andrew Bush, Man (possibly someone in character) traveling northwest at 60 mph on U.S.

The automobile is the foremost cultural touchstone of the 20th century, reflecting the social and cultural development of the western world and beyond. Both technical device and instrument of locomotion, it offers the most highly developed and widespread interface for human-machine interaction – while also functioning as a carrier of meaning, an individualized living room, a medium for escapes great and small, and a means of distancing oneself from others and of creating a personal profile. The attraction of speed and the new feeling of time and space ushered in by the advent of the automobile had a formative influence on (urban) perception and the rhythm of modern life in the early years of the 20th century. The view through the windshield still drives our outlook on life today, as well as coloring the cinematic perspective on reality. An exhibition "Car Fetish," at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, demonstrates the wide range of art influenced by the automobile. Around 160 artworks are featured by more than 80 artists, among them Giacomo Balla, Robert Frank, Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Chris Burden, Damián Ortega, Richard Prince or Superflex.

On view until October 9, 2011 at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland www.tinguely.ch

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Arnold Odermatt, Wolfenschiessen, 1964