Dirty Car

Franck Scurti

10 April 1997

Video. DVD 5’

In the video Dirty Car, we witness an oddly intimate scene: a car enters the frame of the image, stops, and a man gets out and walks around it only to then start licking the bodywork. Afterwards, the character turns to the camera and directs his gaze at the spectator. In this piece, Franck Scurti, an artist who has mined the place of the object in contemporary society and the systems of signs surrounding us, develops an approach to the object, in this case an automobile, as a sign of human nature. The fact that the car is a Sunbeam from the 1960s is highly revealing, since this was the car used in early James Bond films and by Agent 86 in Get Smart. This seductiveness of this vehicle in the collective imaginary is closely bound to the action we see in the video: courting, seduction, eroticism. The character’s open staring into the camera turns the scene into a voyeuristic act directly involving the spectator and underscoring the fetishistic nature of the images. The meaning of the automobile as a fetish engages the work with a reflection on the seduction of objects in consumer society: a metaphorical act of intimacy between object and consumer; an exercise of attraction and seduction.