2015.10.09 – 2015.11.20
Unsafe at Any Speed
820Plaza, Montreal, QC
820Plaza hosts Unsafe at Any Speed, a group exhibition organized by Eli Kerr featuring works by Ivana Basic, Valérie Blass, Michel De Broin, Matt Goerzen, Jon Rafman and Sydney Shen, with an exhibition text by Rebecca Lemire.
Unsafe at Any Speed borrows its title from Ralph Nader’s 1963 expose on the American Auto Industry. The work, which hallmarked a fundamental moment in the history of consumer activism, revealed that the industry designed automobiles for aesthetics, speed and performance while neglecting to implement vital safety features. By the turn of the 21st century the unit of personal computers sold per annum had far surpassed that of automobiles. A black 2001 Ford Explorer was one of the last cars to be manufactured in the 20th century. Large, powerful and austere, the American SUV became emblematic of resilience in the early 2000’s, providing a perceived security and safety in a time plagued by anxieties of terror and existential risk. Deconstructed on site at 820Plaza, a former auto body garage, the Explorer has become a modern ruin and site to consider the ways in which contemporary forms of distress and uncertainty relate to technological environments, and how the legacies of these formations shape our bodies and the collective mental self.