In the exhibition In Reverse Ron Arad explores the shift from the physical to the digital, but in reverse.
The exhibition, which runs from 19 June to 19 October 2013, at the Design Museum Holon in Israel, sees Arad “reverse” perfectly functional objects and render them useless.
In Reverse focuses on three decades of Arad’s work in metal, reportedly his favourite material. The body of work showcased in the exhibition explores the way “automobile bodies, specifically the Fiat 500, behave under compression”. This is done through physical experiments and digital simulations.
One of the features in the exhibition is the six crushed Fiat 500s that Arad installed against clean white walls. Resembling something in a cartoon, the crushed vehicles surround a curved wooden forming buck. The forming buck is essentially the mould that was used to shape and fit the metal panels of the 500s.
Behind this wall with the crushed cars there’s a selection of Arad’s designs, mostly chairs made from steel. There’s also a collection of crushed objects, like a toy police car that he picked up in the streets of Tel Aviv 40 years ago. Other objects here include those that Arad has used in tests and studies over the years.
A digital simulation of the crushing process can be seen in the lower gallery of the museum. Here Arad used the most recent model of the Fiat 500, as well as a sculpture that resulted from one frame of a film that has been made with a 3D printing technique.
In In Reverse Arad presents Roddy Giacosa (2013), a sculpture that was created by positioning hundreds of polished stainless steel rods on a metal armature in the shape of a Fiat 500. Each contoured section takes the shape of one of the vehicle’s panels and the parts fit together to form the body of the car.
A selection of digital prints (on paper) that capture the results of the simulated digital compressions of the Roddy Giacosa will also be on show. Arad’s recent sculptural forms designed with the help of digital technologies can also be seen in In Reverse.