National Collection #1 | Peykan

Installation | 2013

The invention of automobile in the early nineteenth century was a manifestation of our technophilic sensations. These sensations, in fact, turned automobile into one of the most prominent material objects, and it is now one of the most recognizable symbols of social vying for self-glorification. In most popular settings, it is more than just a showcase for the owners social class: rather, with its appealing shape and its dynamic vigor, the automobile is a symbol of being “the ultimate outsider” to the society, and conveys the sense of being superior to the lower “masses”. This new machine, guarantees the personal independence, freedom and privacy in the social contexts. The owner-driver practices freedom of movement at will. The proliferation of car manufacturers made it possible for millions to enjoy the freedom and independence it offers, which formerly was available merely to a privileged few. Automobile found a social identity and provided a space for living. It defines a private space in the outdoors and is usually considered safer than the body itself. Peykan has been no exception: it provided for the technophilic, social and individual needs of a nation and became something of a national symbol. Through the years, for different reasons, such as inefficiency, war, revolution, inflation, oil and dollar price fluctuations under different socio-economic circumstances, its production has been brought to a halt several times. Eventually, Iran’s national oil company paid Iran Khodro to discontinue its line of production for good, deeming that Peykan is environmentally hazardous, and its fuel consumption is unacceptably high.

Parham Taghioff, 2013