SPEED, PLEASURE AND TECHNOLOGY

The motorcycle is a perfect metaphor for the 20th century. Invented at the beginning of the industrial age, its evolution tracks the main currents of modernity. The object and its history represent the themes of technology, engineering, innovation, design, mobility, speed, rebellion, desire, freedom, love, sex, and death. For much of society, the motorcycle remains a forbidden indulgence, an object of fascination, fantasy, and danger. As a practical machine whose history has been one of relentless improvements and design evolution, the motorcycle as a form class at the end of the 20th century embodies its own end-game paradox. Logic and physics suggest it has reached the end of its evolutionary potential, but somehow we know that cannot be completely true. As such, however, it is a quintessential symbol of the insecurity and optimism of our time. Thus, the exhibition Speed, Pleasure and Technology: The New Art of the Motorcycle explores the history of motorcycle design as an aesthetic, cultural, and technological object. It features over 120 motorcycles dating from 1868 to 2011, which together chronicle the most compelling moments in motorcycle design and technology. The history of the motorcycle describes the history and evolution of modern age.

From 1868-71, Louis Perreaux installed and patented a steam engine in the first commercially successful pedal bicycle; by 1894, the Hildebrand brothers and Alois Wolfmuller had patented a water-cooled, two-cylinder gasoline engine in a bicycle frame, the first commercially produced motorcycle with an internal-combustion engine. More than a product of the industrial revolution, the motorcycle quickly took on broader significance. Embodying the more abstract themes of speed, rebellion, progress, freedom, sex, and danger, the motorcycle has been immortalized as a cultural icon that has been transformed with the times. The limits imposed by the possible form and function of the motorcycle, and the breadth of variation that have been expressed within these limitations, provide a vehicle for examining the motorcycle as a possible metaphor for the 20th century.

The criteria for selecting and presenting the motorcycles are fairly straightforward. Except for the seven pre-production motorcycles that open the exhibition, the selection not only spans the century of motorcycle production that evolved from the first patented combination of steam engine and bicycle frame in 1868, but also the technological progress and the cultural, sociological, and economic factors that define and characterize the 20th century. In addition to these, marketing, the expectations and desires of consumers, and the ebb and flow of national economies are all manifested in the components and form of the motorcycle. The sheer number of types of motorcycles – production, studio-built one-offs, customized, sidecar additions, and the many categories of motorcycle racing – is vast. To extract a narrative from the array of functions and dictates that motorcycles represent, the choices have been refined to a group of singularly 20th century defining elements: technological innovation, design excellence and aesthetics, and social function. All of the motorcycles in the exhibition are a product of more than one of these criteria


速度、愉悦和科技,长沙梅溪湖美术馆

摩托车是二十世纪的一个完美隐喻。诞生于工业革命之初的摩托车其演进历程伴随着现代性的所有主要发展潮流。这一物品及其历史代表的主题包括技术、工程、创新、设计、移动性、速度、叛逆、欲望、自由、爱、性、死亡。对社会大部分人来说摩托车象征着一种被禁止的放纵一个幻想之物、迷恋之物和危险的符号。作为一种实用机器摩托车的性能一直不断改进设计也不断完善但到了二十世纪末摩托车的形态似乎代表其本身的发展已经走到终点。逻辑和物理学都显示其进化潜能已经耗尽但我们知道事实不可能完全如此。于是摩托车就成为一个极佳的象征物代表我们时代所有的不安全感和乐观情绪。因此“新摩托车艺术”展回顾了作为一个审美的、文化的、技术的载体摩托车整个历史的演进过程。展览将展出从1868年到2011年间超过120摩托车向观众呈现摩托车设计和技术发展史上所有激动人心的重要时刻。摩托车的历史也描述了现代史的发展和变迁。

1868到1871年间路易·罗在第一辆取得商业成功的自行车上安装蒸汽发动机并注册专利到1894年希尔德勃朗兄弟和阿卢瓦· 尔夫穆勒在自行车架上安装了一个水冷式双缸内燃机引擎并注册专利历史上第一辆带内燃机引擎的商用摩托车诞生。摩托车的意义很快超出工业革命范围对社会产生了更广泛的影响力。作为速度、叛逆、进步、自由、性、危险等抽象概念的象征摩托车变成了一种文化符号随着时间流逝不断变换内涵。受自身形式和功能的限制摩托车包含的可能性选项并非没有边界但在此局限性上却涌现了大 量不同的发明这就提供了一个很好的角度使我们可以将摩托车作为二十世纪的隐喻来加以审视。

展出摩托车的选择标准非常直接。除门口七辆预生产的模型车以外展出内容不仅会覆盖从1868年第一辆申请专利的自行车架和内燃机引擎结合体以来摩托车走过的一百年发展历程还将呈现对二十世纪起到决定性作用的技术进步以及文化、社会、经济元素。另外营销策略、消费者的预期和欲望、民族经济的起伏全都融入摩托车的组件和形式中形成整体叙述。光是展出车型的数量——包括投入生产的型号、工作室设计的限量版、为客户量身定做的个性机车、挎斗车、各类赛车——就十分惊人。为了从这些摩托车所代表的一系列功能和任务中提取叙事展览精选了几个二十世纪最重要的独特主题技术创新、优秀的设计和美学外观、社会功能。展览上每一辆摩托车都至少符合上述一个或多个评判标准。