Xerjoff Magazine

Cars, a symbol of the modern world

Writer

In 130 years of history the car industry has undergone profound changes becoming a symbol of technological progress which finds its greatest expression in the idea of speed on show at the V&A Museum in London with the exhibition “Cars: Accelerating the Modern World”

How has the invention of the car changed our lifestyle by bringing faster changes in society? The answer may be found attending the exhibition held at the V&A Museum in London (Cromwell Road) on show until April 20, 2020.

Divided in three sections, the exhibition, entitled “Cars: Accelerating the Modern World”, exhibits 15 different car models, each of which represent -either by design or by technical characteristics- an important moment in the history of the evolution of modern mobility. It is a glance to the past, aimed at making us comprehend what the future holds for us on this subject. The exhibition opens with the “Going fast” section in which the car is described as a symbol of technological progress that finds its best expression in the idea of speed. “Making more” instead focuses its attention on the production method, on mass production. A method that, among other things, has led to the origin of a society based on consumption thanks to the continuous launch of new models and colours and spectacular events capable of transforming cars from useful objects into objects of desire. 

“Shaping Space”, finally, narrates the changes undergone by the contemporary landscape after the car invention with areas totally dedicated to oil extraction, a dependency that, as we all known, is at the basis of climate change. Concerning environmental protection, in this section there are examples of new, less polluting choices which can be made, such as the extraction of the lithium, an element that will dominate the new electric economy.

Above: General Motors Firebird I (XP-21) © General Motors Company, LLC