bike rides
oct 12, 2009
bike rides

bike rides
the aldrich contemporary art museum
, conneticut, USA
september 26th, 2009 to january 3rd, 2010

a work from the ongoing series ‘aerialbikeway’ [cicloviaerea] by jarbas lopes, 2001–2007
courtesy of the artist
collection of steve miller, new york

bike rides explores the increasing relevance of bicycles in contemporary art and culture.
as worldwide trends point to bike riding as a sustainable means of transportation and a way
of reshaping the city, the curiosity and use of bicycles is rapidly growing. from avid bike riders,
amateurs, recreational bikers, artists and designers, the community at large is reconsidering bicycles
through their personal point of view: their own ideal bike. bike rides is a multidisciplinary exhibition
which features bikes which have been reappropriated to represent different identities
and serve new functions.

in his project ‘aerialbikeway’, brazilian artist jarbas lopes addresses the commuter’s experience.
for lopes, bikes function as social sculptures in which people can reconsider bike transportation
as a source of enjoyment. he finds cycling achieves a balance between the technology of the body
and that of movement.

‘confites lowrider bike’ by mexican pride/vicente olivares, 2008
courtesy mexican pride/vicente olivares

queens-based collective mexican pride design their bikes to pay homage to the low-rider
movement of the west coast. the group fabricates chrome frames and details such as
‘long horn’ handle bars, mirror posts, bumpers, chain stays and even kickstands.
there is also customized upholstery on the seat and spare wheel, hand-painted portraits of the
collective members immediate family in frames with car-metal laminate, which also often
include an image of their guardian, the virgin of guadalupe. the overall look of the bikes
are that of rebel choppers, imitating motocycles, with low-riding body posture, rear-exhaust pipes
and radio antennas – glamorized in their baroque aesthetic.

‘illusion of childhood’ by cai guo-qiang, 2008
courtesy of the artist

cai guo-qiang‘s installation ‘illusion of childhood’, presents a couple of suspended bicycles
that the artist purchased from two inflatable-toy vendors in his tometown of quanzhou, china,
along with a light box displaying a photo documentation of the sales transaction. the installation
is a poetic rumination of the artist’s fleeting childhood fantasies and memories. the vibrant colours,
swaying balloons and other toys trigger flashes of freedom, joy and desire, creating a kind of mirage,
the bright merchandise standing in contrast to the run-down bicycles of the vendors.
here, the innocence of youth and spoils of time give way to illusions of time and latitude
over countless years.

‘stealth’ (eurobike concept bike) by cannondale, 2008
courtesy cannondale bicycle corporation, bethel, CT

stealth by cannondale, is an all-carbon-fiber commuter bicycle which reconsiders the
commuter bike and the individual rider’s experience.

‘cotter pin bike rack’ (digital rendering) by studio tractor, 2009
courtesy peter kirkiles design + fabrication, kent, CT, and studio tractor architecture, brooklyn, NY

peter kirkiles teamed up with studio tractor architecture to produce the ‘cotter pin bike rack’
which is constructed from folded and bent 1/4 x 2 inch steel bar stock. the form has drawn
from the common cotter pin and has been painted ‘aldrich red’ for its premier in the exhibition.

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