Video Installation
Project/photography: Jacqueline Hassink
Design, development, software programming: Antenna-Men
Sound design: Silent M, Charlie van Rest
In the top one hundred ranking of the 2008 Fortune Global 500, there are no less than eleven car companies, with a total combined revenue of $1.4 trillion. Of these eleven companies, Toyota Motor, General Motors, Daimler, Ford Motor, and Volkswagen are at the top of the list with a total revenue of $911 billion. Each of these large multinationals own several distinct car brands. General Motors, for example, owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, and Vauxhall. Car companies are global players who need to continually re-present themselves to local markets. Each year they show off their latest car models at extravagantly staged shows in major cities across the globe. The shows that take place in Detroit, New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Geneva, and Paris are the most important according to the industry. At these shows, the auto manufacturers take great pains to distinguish their brands, but they all present their latest cars in the same way: with the help of female models. Essentially, the women become tools to present the corporate image in a very distinctive way.

 
The installation runs a program starting in Tokyo, with the sound of Japanese girls talking, along with the sounds of the car show and Japanese lounge music. In the meantime, the viewer sees pictures of the Tokyo car girls. Then we go to Paris, then to New York. The layering of sounds recreates the experience of a car show, which is not only about the visual—it’s also about the sound of the people, the sound of the flashy music. The 15.5 meter wide screen is divided in three geographical areas from west (USA) to east (Japan). The program shows combinations generated out of the database with all Car Girls images by a computer program (see video). To installation takes 60 minutes to watch.
The Car Girls installation consists of one big projection screen (220x1550 cm), 4 high resolution beamers, 4 syncronised Mac minis and a set of hifi computer speakers. Each beamer is connected to one computer, and one of them runs as a master. The master also contains the soundscape created by Charlie van Rest that is set in a loop.
Car Girls had its premier in 2004 showing at the 19th 'Festival International des Arts de la Mode a Hyeres', France (prints). The installation was shown in 2007/2008 in the Dutch Photomuseum in Rotterdam, on the Auto RAI in Amsterdam in 2009 and in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto in 2011.
Each sequence starts with an overview form all Car Girls from around the world, projected form west (left) to east) sorted under the main international carshows.
Then a filter is applied, selecting the Car Girls that match the selected filter (brand, car colour, car features, girls features)
Images from this selection are projected life size within the panoramascreen, form the USA (left) via Europe (middle) to the far east (right). With next to each image the active filter highlighted and orher features highlighted.
The search sequences refresh and change filtersettings automatically.
The Car Girls are mapped via different categories: location, car brand, car color, hair color of the girls, clothing style, etc. For example, by looking at the category “car brand,” one sees clearly that the Nissan girl, Shanghai looks completely different from the Nissan girl 1, New York.
Ferrari Girl

Alfa Romeo Girl
Netherlands Photo Museum, Rotterdam, Netherlands (installation, 2007/2008), Auto RAI Amsterdam (installation, 2009).
In the spring of 2017 the Car Girls installation will be exhibited in a group show at Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris.