No one wants to see a scratch on their car. No one wants to see a scratch on any car unless it belongs to the ex that you absolutely abhor. But if it’s the crazy expensive Italian sports car Lamborghini Gallardo, you don’t even want to see a dust particle on it, but the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark set up a Black Lamborghini Gallardo and invited visitors to scratch it. It was a part of the exhibit “No Man Is an Island” at the Danish museum where people came for three weeks and were allowed to leave any mark on the sports car. People were curious at first that it might be some joke or even a trap, but once they realized the act would have no consequence, they did not hold back.
The car was meant to become a piece of art, displaying the “art” markings left by the visitors. The art making could have gone longer than three weeks, but ARoS noticed that any further scratches could have turned the car entirely white, leaving no remains of the actual messages. To preserve those, the museum put up a guard just three weeks later and announced that the “artwork” was now complete and no further interaction with the car is allowed.
The event happened last year in September, and it has been seven months since, but the car will stay on display at the museum until September before being returned to the owner, the Norwegian artist DOLK. The purpose is to provoke the thought in people about how the surroundings affect a person in different ways. A Danish site explains the artwork as:
It’s all about showing how each individual’s destructive actions leave clear traces and contribute to a society whose facade is slowly cracking.
A few of the visitors left nothing but meaningless scratches, but one of the first things on the car was the word “SKODA” which is the name of another car brand. Some scratched greetings, hearts, and even love letters. The owner does not intend to “ruin” the art piece by repainting it.
The act may sound ruthless and stupid, but when it is art, it does not need logic and is meant to send a message which the ARoS curator describes as: “Everything you do, every action, leaves a mark on the society you live in. None of us are left untouched, as every little action has an impact on the whole.”
The project was titled “Low Key” initiated by DOLK and his gallerist Sjur Nedreaas who had bought a used Lamborghini Gallardo from Italy just for this purpose. The project only intended to get markings on the body, but people did not leave even the windows and pulled off letters from the “Lamborghini” on the tailgate. Dinesen says that “once you relinquish control, as we have done in the case of Low Key, one can not say that something is forbidden. The work was interactive, and we can now conclude that Aarhus has a very enthusiastic, interactive audience.”
Some people even accused the museum of promoting vandalism, and Pernille Taagaard Dinesen agreed with the possibility but also said that the artwork is meant to send a message and provide food for thought, which could possibly change a person’s behavior. Some believe that the car itself is a piece of art, and the project is a mutilation of the art. The entire point of the project is to provoke thoughts and deliver a strong message which was the sole purpose for choosing a Lamborghini which is an unattainable dream for most people. If they had selected a less expensive car, like a Porsche, there are still a lot of people that can save up to buy one. The pain of seeing a Lamborghini Gallardo is still stronger than it could have been with another car.
The scratched up Lamborghini is now a work of art, and like any other art piece, this might even cost more than the original brand new car itself.