NYC-ARTS

S2021 E528 | CLIP

NYC-ARTS CHOICE: Automania at MoMA

NYC-Arts visits the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, "Automania," which takes its name from a 1963 Oscar-nominated animated film called "Automania 2000." The film sets the tone for the exhibition as not simply a love letter to these rolling sculptures, but as an exploration of how the car has shaped our society for better or for worse.

AIRED: September 23, 2021 | 0:06:02
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO

"NYC ARTS."

I'M PAULA ZAHN.

ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAM WE'LL LOOK

AT SOME LARGE-SCALE WORKS OF ART

THAT YOU WON'T TYPICALLY FIND IN

A MUSEUM.

CARS.

NOT JUST ANY CARS, BUT SOME OF

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND

INNOVATIVE MOTOR VEHICLES OF THE

20th CENTURY.

THAT'S THE HOOK FOR MOMA'S NEW

EXHIBITION, AUTOMANIA.

THE SHOW TAKES ITS NAME FROM

AUTOMANIA 2000, AN

OSCAR-NOMINATED ANIMATED FILM

FROM 1963.

THE FILM SETS THE TONE FOR THE

EXHIBITION, AS NOT SIMPLY A LOVE

LETTER TO THESE ROLLING

SCULPTURES, BUT AS AN

EXPLORATION OF HOW THE CAR HAS

SHAPED OUR SOCIETY FOR BETTER OR

WORSE.

DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO VISIT,

ALTHOUGH YOU CAN ENJOY THE

EXHIBITION INTO THE NEW YEAR,

THIS SELECTION OF CARS IN MOMA'S

SCULPTURE GARDEN WILL ONLY BE ON

VIEW THROUGH OCTOBER 10th.

>> WHAT MAKES AN AUTOMOBILE A

WORK OF ART?

THIS IS A QUESTION THAT WAS

POSED IN 1951, AND THE FIRST CAR

EXHIBITION AT AN ART MUSEUM

WHICH WAS HERE AT MOMA, AN

EXHIBITION CALLED EIGHT

AUTOMOBILES, WHICH LOOKED AS

CARS AS ESSENTIALLY SCULPTURAL

FORMS.

THE CURATOR OF THE SHOW REFERRED

TO THEM AS HOLLOW ROLLING

SCULPTURE.

SO THE MUSEUM HAS LONG HAD A

HISTORY OF TRYING TO ENGAGE

MODERN DESIGN AND THE PUBLIC IN

A VERY KIND OF CRITICAL,

THOUGHT-PROVOKING MANNER.

FOR CARS IT'S THE GREATEST

EXAMPLE OF THAT.

IT'S A SCULPTURE, IT'S INDUSTRY,

IT'S ENGINEERING, ALL OF THESE

THINGS WRAPPED INTO ONE.

THE EXHIBITION TAKES ITS NAME

FROM A 1963 BRITISH ANIMATED

FILM CALLED "AUTOMANIA 2000."

AND IT USES SATIRE TO EXAMINE

CONSUMER CULTURE, MASS

PRODUCTION AND CAR FANATICS.

THE FILM CENTERS AROUND A

SCIENTIST FIGURE WHO CAN SOLVE

EVERY PROBLEM, MEET EVERY

MARKETING NEED AND LOSES CONTROL

OF HIS CREATION AND PRETTY SOON

YOU SEE CARS BURYING THE WORLD,

COVERING THE EMPIRE STATE

BUILDING AND U.S. CAPITOL.

THERE'S EVEN DRONE DELIVERY OF

FOOD.

AND THE END OF THE WORLD IS

DESTROYED BY CARS.

I THINK YOU CAN'T REALLY SUSTAIN

A GOOD CRITIQUE OF CAR CULTURE

UNLESS YOU FIRST REALLY SHOW US

WHY CARS ARE SO SEDUCTIVE.

THEY HAVE A MAGNETIC POWER.

AND I THINK GREAT ART DOES THAT.

THE JAGUAR E-TYPE FROM 1963 IS

OFTEN WHAT HOOKS PEOPLE WHEN

THEY COME INTO THIS GALLERY.

IT'S A CONVERTIBLE.

IT'S INCREDIBLE DEEP PURPLE

COLOR AND AN UNDENIABLY SEXY

CAR.

IT KIND OF BELIES, IT'S VERY

MATHEMATICAL AND ANALYTICAL

ORIGINS.

THE LEAD CREATOR DID COUNTLESS

CALCULATIONS TO MAKE A CAR THAT

WAS STABLE FROM FRONT WINDS,

CROSS WINDS AND VARIABLE VOER

'TISES THAT GO WHEN THE CAR IS

GOING FAST.

SO IT'S TO BRING THAT TECHNOLOGY

TO EVERYDAY PEOPLE.

ONE THING THAT SETS JAGUAR APART

IS COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, IT

WAS ACTUALLY MUCH MORE

AFFORDABLE THAN A COMPARABLE CAR

FROM PORSCHE OR MASERATI.

STILL AN EXPENSIVE CAR, IT WAS

DEFINITELY NOT CHEAP, BUT IT WAS

ONE THAT CAPTURED THE

IMAGINATION OF PARTICULARLY THE

AMERICAN PUBLIC AND THE PUBLIC

IN THE UK.

THE FERRARI FORMULA 1 CAR IS ONE

OF THE MOST EXCITING VEHICLES WE

HAVE IN THE COLLECTION.

IT'S THE MODEL 641 FROM 1990.

IT'S HIGHLY RARE.

THERE WAS ONLY SEVEN MADE THAT

YEAR.

THE CAR IS A STUNNING EXAMPLE OF

THE REDUCTION OF A CAR DOWN TO

ITS MOST PURE ELEMENTS.

THE LEAD DESIGNER WAS JOHN BAR

NARD.

HE RETHOUGHT THE SHAPE OF A

FORMULA ONE CAR AND HIS DESIGN

PROVED TO BE REALLY DURABLE.

IT WAS NOT MODIFIED ALL THAT

HEAVILY FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

ENZO FERRARI AND THE COMPANY HE

CREATED LOOMS LARGELY IN RACING

HISTORY.

THE MODEL 641 REPRESENTS ONE OF

THE PINNACLES OF THEIR

ACHIEVEMENT.

CITRON IS MAKING ITS DEBUT.

IT WAS A RELATIVELY RECENT

ACQUISITION.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL

CAR, ESPECIALLY WHEN COMPARED TO

WHAT WAS MORE COMMON IN THE

1950s, THESE GIGANTIC AMERICAN

CADILLACS.

IT LOOKS LIKE A CAR FROM THE

FUTURE, AND IN ONE PARIS AUTO

SHOW IT WAS SHOWN STANDING UP

LIKE A ROCKET SHIP TAKING OFF.

THE DESIGNER OF IT ACTUALLY HAD

A BACKGROUND IN SCULPTURE, SO I

THINK THAT COMES ACROSS VERY

STRONGLY IN THE BODY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES IT

SO INCREDIBLE IS ITS SUSPENSION

SYSTEM THAT'S SELF-LEVELING.

SO YOU CAN BE DRIVING ALONG THE

HIGHWAY AND HAVE A BLOWOUT OF A

TIRE AND IT KEEPS ITSELF LEVEL.

IN THE 1960s FRANCE WAS RACKED

BY INTERNAL CONFLICT AND THERE

WAS AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON

CHARLES DE GALLE.

I THINK TWO OF THE TIRES WERE

SHOT OUT AND STILL THE CAR WAS

ABLE TO ESCAPE.

WHEN VIEWERS COME TO THE

EXHIBITION, THERE'S A LOT TO

DELIGHT IN.

BUT ALSO WE HOPE THAT PEOPLE

KIND OF RETHINK THESE THINGS.

THE TITLE "AUTOMANIA" IMPLIES

CARS MAKE US CRAZY.

AND THAT'S FUN, AND WE ALL LOVE

BEING IN A CAR AND BEING A

LITTLE BIT CRAZY, BUT THAT

AND WE HOPE PEOPLE WILL LEAVE

THINKING ABOUT WHAT THAT PRICE

MEANS AND IS IT WORTH IT.

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