Sunday, September 23, 2007

The 1950 Ford Show, AGA, September 22 to January 6, 2008

Image credit: Amanda Kindregan, 2007 Courtesy of AGA

Curated by Anthony Easton, The 1950 Ford Show sets out to challenge Easton’s idol Ed Ruscha’s 1977 drawing “Will 100 Artists Draw a 1950 Ford from Memory” to its literal root. Selecting 100 artists from an international call-out, many of which ended up being locally based artists, the showing of 100 depictions of a 1950 Ford magnifies what pop culture could mean when situated within a collective memory.
Pop culture, arguably the ash tray of our social indulgences, is here pared down to its nostalgic essence. A 1950 Ford, a slice of a bygone era of postwar American glory, is asked to be remembered in its various reincarnations. It is highly unlikely that a majority of the artists who submitted have ever encountered a real life 1950s Ford model beyond a mausoleum showroom, but the idea, the request to draw from memory a shape so common as a mid-century American car, releases a flood of layered iconographies--and it is in this release that captures the surprise and subversion of Pop with wit and poignancy.

Images credit: Daphne Louter, 2007 Courtesy of AGA

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