Okay, so you’re in London for the Olympics. It’s a zoo, of course, and it sounds like the ticket process and the security are magnificently screwed up, and all the cabbies are mad because the Olympic Committee (I am not making this up) has managed to wangle a bunch of “Olympic Officials Only” traffic lanes, in a city that was desperately short of lanes in the first place.
I suspect it must feel like the Third World, with lots of white Toyota Land Cruisers zooming around stuffed with IOC officials, instead of UN troops. (Oh, wait: No, they’ll be in the 4,000-strong fleet of BMW vehicles. Maybe 5 Series GTs.)
But if you are a BMW-lover, or an art-lover (or maybe both), here’s a cool alternative: Watch the day’s Olympic recap on TV in the evenings—perhaps in a cheery pub—and give over a morning or afternoon to a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London, which is showcasing the BMW Art Car Collection, presented over six floors of the NCP car park on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch in London’s East End.
Designboom visited the exhibition—the first time these vehicles have been on display in the UK. Here’s the gist of their press release (I am adding capital letters where appropriate, because either the ICA is too cool to use them, except for its own initials, or maybe designboom is too modern for me):
Art Drive! BMW Art Car Collection 1975-2010
July 21–August 4, 2012
Great Eastern Street Car Park
The initiative began more than 35 years ago when French racing driver and auctioneer Hervé Poulain invited his friend Alexander Calder to design a car that married artistic excellence with “an already perfect object.” The resulting automobile would compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 197—and the BMW art car was born. Since then, other leading international artists have transformed BMW cars, including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Ernst Fuchs, Robert Rauschenberg, M.J Nelson, Ken Done, Matazo Kayama, Cesar Manrique, Jeff Koons, A.R. Penck, Esher Mahlangu, Sandro Chia, Jenny Holzer, and David Hockney.
“Art Drive! - BMW Art Car Collection 1975-2010” is presented in partnership with BMW, the Lord Mayor of London and the London 2012 Festival and will be on show until August 4, 2012.
About that address: The closest London Underground station is Old Street on the Northern Line. Just head east on Old Street for about ten blocks when you come up from the Tube. I suspect that parking will be a problem––after all, the car park is occupied, isn’t it?
And if you can’t fit London into your schedule, check out the whole show here.––Paul DucheneBack to News