Le véhicule

Xavier Veilhan

26 December 1995

Car/DVD Dimensiones variables Courtesy: Frac Aquitania, Burdeos

The basic structure of Xavier Veilhan’s work is a chassis consisting of several pipes, holding a small simple jet engine in the middle and sustained by four bicycle wheels. The artist rebuilds a motor vehicle virtually reduced to the dimensions of a model. Though the vehicle can actually work, it has no further usefulness beyond its ignition, its simplicity merely standing in for the schematic reduction of the automobile. It is a generic prototype with no other quality than its own essential nature. Within a context engaged with car culture, this vehicle prototype triggers a reflection on objects and their essence. Its “primitivism” contrasts and clashes with the sophistication generally surrounding industrial production and consumption. By isolating the object and subjecting it to a generic reduction, Veilhan displaces the vehicle, moving it away from our usual parameters of understanding and recognising a product. Paradoxically, and also disturbingly, this work represents a whole period determined and characterised by our relationship with vehicles, the engine and speed.