Skylark, 1992

Basel 2017
Mehdi Chouakri, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salon 94
1967 Buick, music player, sunglasses, key ring, magazine, makeup
Since the late 1980s, Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury has used her films, sculptures, installations, and performances to question the relationship between art and consumerism, masculinity and femininity, fetishization and commodification, trendiness and canonization. Fleury stages a meeting of art and subcultures that are usually foreign to museums and galleries: fashion, muscle cars, spaceships, and contemporary mysticisms. Often posited as the ultimate signifier of man-hood, cars are central to Fleury’s work. In her first exhibition at Art & Public in Geneva (1993), Fleury presented a 1967 Buick Skylark as sculpture. After the exhibition ended, the artist drove the car for many years and it became a central tool in her evolving practice. Fleury featured the Skylark in her Car Wash videos, used it to crush makeup scattered on the floor in Drastic Makeup, and cruised in it with the She-Devils on Wheels Car Club that she founded. At Unlimited, the golden Skylark is transformed from a macho status symbol into a glamorous accessory. A woman’s belongings lie haphazardly on the front seat (sunglasses, magazines, gloves), while 1960s garage-girl-band songs play on the tape deck.