Car Nation Rein [Anagram (Pun)]
With the industrial revolution humanity steam rolled into the studio of Daedalus, where the possibilities of invention and progress seemed without bounds. This exhibition tells the Icarus-like tale of the motor-industry’s rise and fall in the West, a demise that Adelaide is only now coming to grips with as the largest car manufacturer in Australia lays off workers and ceases production.
Joseph Albers’ Homage to the Square: Greek Island (1957) serves as a connection between Pre-war Europe and Post-war USA, sets the context for our Daedalic myth and introduces the viewer to the influence and development of Rauschenberg. The volatile optimism of the Futurists is juxtaposed by the works of Matthew Barney and Chris Burden where Barney’s River of Fundament (2014) mourns the demise of these once soaring industries and hopes for reincarnation.
At the end of his life, Daedalus hung his waxen wings in the temple he built for Apollo. It is hard to think of the wings and not remember the tragic fall of Icarus, yet one must remember the tragedy at the cost of Daedalus’ glorious flight. Rauschenberg’s work expresses the fragility and danger of conquest and invention, and is filled with the optimism and ingenuity that made these inventions possible.
“Icarus’ downfall is Rauschenberg’s free fall; a breathtaking exploration of the unknown in which the world and the self are discovered anew.” -Rosetta Brooks-