Half remembered things

The work of Tobias Rehberger includes a series of cars created via a process of mental photocopying; the car is redrawn from memory, and then rebuilt (apparently in Thailand) as a fully functioning, ‘remembered’ object. See ‘Som-Tam-Poo‘ (2004), a ‘Handmade copy of the Mercedes Benz prototype C111’ (original here. And in Lego), Yam Koon Chien, a replica of the McLaren F1 (2000) and a VW Beetle. See also his recent dazzle painted interior and an article from 2006 in the New York Times: The Provocateur. Even more info at We Make Money Not Art:

The instructions, sketches, clippings from newspapers and renderings he sent in Thailand didn’t contained any measurements nor technological details. The only requirements were that the cars had to be drivable and built to human scale. No matter how carefully the Thai craftsmen worked, the resulting vehicles can only reflect the meagre instructions the artist sent them. But Rehberger likes the imperfections because the way they enhance the personal stories behind his work. For the Renault Alpines (the model currently on show at Laboral), he just gave the men the info over the phone.


Other things. All cars of the 2011 Geneva Motor Show arranged by color / more classic cars in Lego / small models of Mercedes-Benzes / Indistinguishable from Magic, a tumblr about the art of comics / umm hello?, design-focused tumblr / Are Collections the New Collectible?, a post at Artifacts Collectors.


We are constantly troubled by our reliance on Yahoo, a company with increasingly little concern for archiving and online permanence / Poynor on the Edgelands, referencing the work of photographer Jason Orton / related, “highway proposals never die, they just get more expensive”, mammoth on the hidden impact of abandoned mega-projects the world over / all about the McMansard, that strange, unwieldy little architectural hybrid / Kubrick’s locations revealed, at Curbed.


As the tenth anniversary of this weblog approaches we’re starting to get nostalgic for our first encounters with nostalgia. It was nice to receive tribute from Fantastic Journal’s, but a pithy comment on their recent post – ‘more insightful boring nostalgia‘ – set us off down a rabbit hole. Fantastic Journal’s post consists of images from the Terence Conran House Book series, serving to highlight a) what a fantastic visual archive these vast tomes have become and b) how the ‘collection’ has remained a constant theme of the ‘progressive’ interior, just as it is with the ‘unprogressive’ one.


So what difference is there between a quasi-ironic presentation of toast racks and the kind of overstuffed, pre-modern interior so derided by the Modernists right through into the Deadly Lampshade era? The perverse upshot of nostaglia’s conflation of good and bad will manifest itself at the imminent and much-vaunted anniversary of all things proto-modern on the South Bank. Only this time, the ‘us and them’ mentality of good and bad taste has been so comprehensively wallpapered (pun only partly intended) in the ensuing decades that the cracks – let alone the chasms – no longer show. Modern is Retro is Classic is Kitsch. The real acid test is to whether the V&A’s forthcoming show on Postmodernism will be able to ruffle any feathers on the dying duck of taste.


Digging around for the above also served to highlight how children’s bedrooms have evolved into the most expressive set of domestic interiors, where traditional hang-ups about form, colour and function are all thrown to the wind, perhaps because of the temporary perception of the space. For a rather more sobering set of contrasts, see photographer James Mollison’s recent book, Where Children Sleep (more images).

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One Response to Half remembered things

  1. The work of Tobias Rehberger is tremendous. Each car seems to be different from past cars and shows good process of mental photocopying.

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