Zurich-based artist Raffael Waldner has developed an extensive and complex body of work called Car Crash Studies featuring the world of sports and luxury cars, and the relics that are left by accidents in these expensive vehicles.
Using his camera, he systematically documents the results of such chance accidents, the wrecked cars and their location.
Caught on camera, his arrangements of scrap can be understood as nature mortes – the cruel still lifes of a society that puts its faith in technology and mobility, symbols of loss and death.
Waldner’s oeuvre is not that of a chronicler but of an object researcher. ‘My focus is on the impact of violence,’ he says, ‘and the way it changes the product. I’m interested in the typology of the remains’.
This typology, researched and documented through numerous night-time forays into the scrap yards of vehicle breakdown services, is a contemporary interpretation of the Vanitas theme.
English and German text.