Like any good automotive project, the devil’s in the details. While our fabricators were doing a good job of the auto body work and glitches, we wanted to make sure the artwork is aesthetically successful from all angles, especially considering the unusual orientation of the final piece: automobile like obelisk, up on its nose.
The final sculpture will be installed on top of an underground parkade. The engine of the car is removed to reduce weight, fitting within the allowable tolerances of the parkade’s roof structure. During early tests (see images above) the absence of the car’s engine created a discontinuous visual, covered only by a flat plate. We had an idea: to help with the details of the undercarriage, we went to the scrapyard.
The pick-n-pull is a balanced combination of intriguing and disconcerting. It’s a graveyard for cars, too far gone for skilled mechanics to raise from the dead. Throughout rows upon rows of vehicles, intimate details hide, obscured by dented body panels and mashed bumpers – details that hint at who owned the vehicle, and how the car entered into a tenuous state of being, just prior to “scrap.”
Bibles, airbags, and broken glass implicate some greater narrative… and yet, it’s all too visceral, too real, too relatable. When walking between sardined cars, it’s advisable not to think too hard (“objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”) While literally picking apart the evidence of someone else’s eternal moment, there is a certain discretion in remaining pragmatic.
And yet, the pick-n-pull is also a sculpture garden, normalized by functionality. Like an elephant graveyard, the deconstructed cars are strangely beautiful, liberated from their intended purpose.
We were searching for oil pans and other under-car ephemera, intended to contribute to the believability of CARBON COPY’s undercarriage.
Satisfied with our findings, we carried away our parts, pausing to gape at the pancaked cars on the way out.
At the fabricators, final details began shifting into place as the artwork was prepared for install. Trim was adhered, windows were painted in, and automotive scraps were added.
What remained was install onsite in the Brewery District, and one final detail – an authentic (but expired) Alberta license plate.
Don’t forget! If you have car stories, there are a few days left to participate in the artwork by contributing to The Glove Box.