Ron Arad "CUBA working title"
September 16, 2018 / October 28, 2018
September 15 from 6 to 9PM
Inspired by the lore of perfectly refurbished automobiles in Cuba, Arad had the idea to crush loved Cuban-American cars as poetic symbols of American nostalgia that has infiltrated cultures around the globe. However, repatriation of the vintage cars proved difficult, as they are considered national treasures and protected by the state. Instead of using cars from Cuba, Arad listened to some advice from celebrated Cuban artist, Esterio Segura to “just get the feeling of Havana cars – it doesn’t matter if the cars come from Europe.” He decided to adapt his idea to “Cuban” cars found in Europe and work with Segura on a collaboration: a pressed car made by Segura specifically for this exhibition. In the end, Arad’s exhibition meant to be titled just Cuba has now become Cuba working title — a project conceived from an impossible idea that, while maintaining the essence of the original idea, is no longer the project it had been planned to be.
Cuba working title continues Arad’s ongoing dialogue between the handmade and the digital processes in his practice, unapologetically converting utilitarian three-dimensional objects into flattened ones. A sort of factory in reverse, each of the retro vehicles was placed sideways in a 500-ton shipyard press in the Netherlands and then pressed like flowers, resulting in 12-centimeter-thick metal sculptures (or rather paintings) which immortalize each perfected detail of the iconic automobiles.
Lives and works in London, UK