Works of art: The Cadillac of the 16 tonnes of concrete


Image file in its original location.

Although it may seem to you, under that monolith of concrete 16 tons is a Cadillac from 1957 to the full. Name “Concrete Traffic”, which we can translate literally as “Traffic of concrete”, is a sculpture of the German artist Wolf Vostell was created in 1970 at the request of the Museum of Contemporary Art and which has recently been discovered in one of the warehouses of the University of Chicago, after spending years in oblivion.

The sculpture was not created originally as a piece for a permanent exhibition of the museum, in fact, in his day, was exposed in a public car park, in the middle of the street, piling up for weeks and parking fines. So after use, just as an ornament of the campus of the university of Chicago, again in the open air. Apparently, after several years it was stored and forgotten completely.

Until a few years ago and during an inventory of the works of art of the university, it was discovered, starting then a most necessary process of restoration since the concrete was obviously deteriorated, as being a work of type is ephemeral, but in its day there was no type of protective treatment.


file Image of his place of exhibition for years in the university of Chicago.

The work corresponds with the artistic movement Fluxus and he was ranked in his day as a “happening”, an art form characterized by the participation of spontaneous or elicited from the public, hence do not take into account its conservation. The Fluxus movement included artists of renown of the cultural scene american of the decades of the sixties and setanta, as Joseph Beuys or the viudad of John Lennon, Yoko Ono.

According to Chritinne Mehring, professor of art history at the university of Chicago, “there’s not a lot of objects of Fluxus by there”, adding that “Concrete Traffic is the object I larger size than currently exists of the Fluxus movement.

Currently, the responsible of the department of art history of the university, as the own Mehring, are finalizing the details of its restoration, prior to your next submission, in the autumn of the same year, when will be exposed again at a site of the university, in the parking lot north of the same university.


Detail of the wheels of the Cadillac of the 16,000 pounds of concrete.

About the vehicle that is located under the 16 tons of concrete do not know too much, except the brand and the year. So that we do not know if it was an Eldorado or a DeVille, in the same way, nor have we been able to find information about the type, if it is a sedan, coupe or convertible. All of them are available in the range 1957 Cadillac. What seems incredible is that all of that huge block, is really supported on its own wheels on the Caddy.