As a child, you may remember collecting flowers and sticking them between two pages of a thick book. A few days later they would be fragile and paper-thin, but would last an eternity. Israeli designer Ron Arad takes the same concept of “pressed flowers” and applies them to cars - Fiat 500s, to be precise.
Ron Arad took six real Fiat 500s and flattened them into 12 cm thick sheets of metal in an industrial press at a shipyard in Groningen, the Netherlands. According to Arad, he is not destroying the cars, but “immortalising them”. The pressed cars are in display at his new exhibition titled "Pressed Flowers," at the Design Museum Holon in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Before they were squashed, the motors and seats were taken out of the cars, and the tires were taken off. Each car was put sideways in the press and then smashed mercilessly. The result was a 12-centimeter-thick metal sandwich. The astounding thing is that although the cars were completely destroyed, one is able to immediately recognize the Cinquecento.
Arad says he used a "little makeup" on the squashed cars. For example, at the exhibit the designer hung the equally flattened tires under the cars and draped the folding tops where they had originally been.
Arad first experimented with model cars and a small press before moving on to the real thing. The result was not the horrible lump he expected, but the contours of the flattened toy cars were so clear that they let the original design be seen.
The artist found the right metal press at a shipyard in the Netherlands and shipped the cars to it to be squashed. Normally, the press was used to form ship's parts. The unusual use of the press was so entertaining that shipyard workers brought their families to watch. "They made a real festival out of it," he says.
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