Can a smashed Porsche 911 be a breath-taking work of art?
According to Porsche purists, the idea is revolting because Porsche vehicles are art themselves without the need of additional embellishments.
Daniel Arsham, however, challenges this belief with his Crystal Eroded Porsche 911.
Daniel Arsham was born in 1980 and is one of the most influential artists of our time, specializing in deconstructed futurism. He succeeds in breathing new life into everyday objects. He experiments with structure and examines its matter from a historical perspective. In this way, he confuses and confounds the audience’s expectations and displays a world where the past, present, and future can co-exist. One of his most famous works is the Future Relics line, which includes items from everyday life re-worked to render his idea of what the future might look like.
In this work, Arsham wanted to represent what a Porsche 911 992 might look like if it was discovered in the year 3019 after hundreds of years of dereliction. Following the 991’s identity of a Timeless Machine, the car is still drivable with undiminished performance, although many parts of the car body were damaged by erosion. It looks as if being slowly eaten away by something, with only the first signs of the decay showing — perhaps it’s impressive because it suggests that the car didn’t deteriorate more. To create this work, he removed sections of the body and replaced them with roughly hewn pieces of crystal with its uneven surfaces peeking out. These crevices are displayed on a large section of the hood, the fenders, doors, and rear bumper. For a seamless look, most of the body is white, including the wheels, except for slim pieces of black trim. To maintain drivability, Arsham made no modifications to the cabin or the engine, taking them completely apart while working on the exterior and then recasting them all back together. Since the changes are purely cosmetic, there’s nothing stopping a driver from taking this Porsche on the road.
This artwork was created in late 2019 and revealed that same year at Selfridges in London as part of an exhibition called The House by Daniel Arsham, in which he imagined a family home from the year 3019.
After the Selfridges exhibit ended its run in January 2020, the project was displayed at the Chengdu Motor Show, one of China’s most influential annual car shows, where it also proved a main attraction. Currently it can be seen at the Porsche Studio in Seoul, the first stop of its Asian tour, which will be followed by Tokyo and Singapore.
“The 992 was a unique project in that it was a brand-new car. I incorporated the idea of crystallisation that was present in the other car projects that I’ve worked on before; however, it was the first drivable version of a car that I had made.” – Daniel Arsham