León Ferrari (1920 - 2013)

Autopista del Sur (1982-2000)
Southern Highway

Blueprint on paper
height: 100cm
width: 100cm

Donated by León Ferrari 2001


This is one of a number of works on paper by Ferrari which take the form of architectural plans, made during the years of his exile in São Paulo, Brazil. This work takes its title from the short story by Argentine writer Julio Cortázar describing the absurdity of a peculiar circumstance in which hundreds of cars get trapped for months in a traffic jam. The critique and ironic take on contemporary urban life that underlies the short story are present in the visual construction of this work, which depicts an endless road in the form of a spiral packed solid with cars, with no beginning and no end.

As in the rest of this series of works, called by the artist Arquitecturas de la locura (Architecture of Madness), he employs readymade printing stamps (in this case that of a car) to create the image, and repeats it methodically in order to produce a narrative that profoundly subverts the established visual order. The work has been reproduced mechanically by copying the original ad infinitum using the technique of heliography employed by architects to reproduce their plans. Ferrari's decision to make the series unlimited challenges ideas of authorship and of the value of art objects.

Gabriela Salgado, 2008

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