Page start

The Car as a Sculpture

2 March to 4 July 2012

It is considered the human's favorite toy – the automobile. As a cult object and symbol of individual freedom, it epitomizes mobility and expresses lifestyle and luxury. At the same time, the car stands for the endangerment of our planet: exploitation of resources, environmental destruction, traffic gridlock, accidents. And at the practical level of everyday life: trouble with finding parking spaces, costly mechanics' hours, tailgaters on the motorway, the rising cost of fuel. Then again the pleasure of a new car: Let's go! The automobile remains persistently attractive. How long can that continue to work?, we wonder worriedly – and get into the car.

An object that plays such an important role in the life of the individual as well as in technical, economic, aesthetic, and urban and traffic planning contexts must inevitably interest artists. As Wolf Vostell said in 1969: "The car is the sculpture of the 20th century."
Up the the present, an astonishingly large number of artists devote their attention to the car: affectionately, critically, intelligently, ironically.

The large exhibition hall of the museum becomes a parking lot, where artistic vehicles are gathered. Charged luxury objects like a Porsche and Ferrari are irreverently treated and divested of their qualities, only to be resurrected as dysfunctional doppelgangers. The roles of iconic models relevant to the history of society, such as "Trabbi", VW Bug or Mercedes-Benz, are illuminated, while playful alterations of utility vehicles make hidden connotations obvious.
The exhibition shows the social, artistic and economic relevance of the cult of the automobile from artistic perspectives – critically, surprisingly and entertainingly.

Project managers: Stella Rollig, Magnus Hofmüller

Franz Ackermann | Gottfried Bechtold | Ecke Bonk | Hofmann/Moises/Schatzl | Christoph Keller | Köbberling/Kaltwasser | Hans Kupelwieser | Alicja Kwade | Hannes Langeder | Michaela Melián | Olaf Mooij | Fritz Panzer | Axel Philipp | Fabrizio Plessi | Tobias Rehberger | Valentin Ruhry | Georg Seibert | SUPERFLEX | Gustav Troger | Lieven van Velthoven | Peter Weibel | Erwin Wurm | Yin Xiuzhen

The exhibition was conceived by the ZKM | Medienmuseum in Karlsruhe on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the motor car in 2011 (Curators: Peter Weibel, Bernhard Serexhe).


The exhibition is sponsored by:



A mobile service for smartphones and tablets. Simply go before, during or after your exhibition vistit to (German only).


1 March 2012, 7 p.m.

11 March
sundays at 11: Stella Rollig in conversation with Erwin Wurm

24 March, 7 p.m.
RAUM LENTOS: Presentation of Hannes Langeder's Fahrradi

26 April, 7 p.m.
Jour Fixe LENTOS: „Abschied vom Auto: Was jetzt?“ In cooperation with DER STANDARD

16 June, from 4 p.m.
Autosalon LENTOS: Car-Performances, soap box trophy, music and book presentation

Guided Tours

Guided Tours in English
Every 1st Saturday in a Month at 4 p.m.
Duration 1 hour, € 3,- plus admission fee
No prior booking required.

Every Sunday, 4 p.m. (german only)
Duration 1 hour, € 3,- plus admission fee
No prior booking required.

Gudied tours for families (german only)
on saturdays, 3 p.m.
Duration 1 hour, € 16,- admission included


Bild: Cover KatalogCAR CULTURE. The Car as a Sculpture 
Ed. by Stella Rollig. With essays by Stella Rollig, Peter Weibel, Sibylle Berg, Thomas Girst and Matthias Penzel as well as numerous illustrations, 112 pages, € 19,- (Museum price).
Verlag für moderne Kunst, Nürnberg, 2012

Buy online at the
(order transaction in German)

background image:

Photo: © maschekS.