Car Wash (Vivier)

Sylvie Fleury

8 March 1995

Video. 56

Interested in foregrounding the material world and the domain of consumerism, it is no surprise that car culture is a constant in Fleury’s practice. Cars are seen as an essential icon in our society, the material embodiment of a plethora of desires, dreams and phantasms and as inducers of stereotyped behaviours. Fleury has presented wrecked cars repainted in loud colours reminiscent of make-up. The artist takes engines out of cars, places them on pedestals and turns them into sculptures half- way between luxury item and museum exhibit. She has made videos in which she subverts and connects stereotyped behaviours and passions like car-washing, sex, luxury or speed. For Sylvie Fleury, the car is an object condensing a large part of the essence of 20th century material culture: icon, consumerism, desire, luxury, power.