Sean Lynch, DeLorean Progress Report, 2009-10

DeLorean Progress Report, installation view

Tooling presses once used to manufacture a dream sports car of the 1980s are now to be found 18m below sea level, a habitation for crabs, sea cucumbers and a lobster. This is not a metaphor.

A metaphor would be the 1981 commercial for the DeLorean DMC-12 which showed the car by the ocean with both gull-wing doors open. This image dissolved into a shot of an actual gull in flight.

We have long been familiar with happenings in life which get called stranger than fiction. But this installation is comprised of real world objects which appear more wondrous than art.

There are photos of submerged cast iron presses, together with crabs, taken by industrial divers. And the stainless steel body parts from a DMC-12 were made by a vintage car restorer.

Admittedly, both forms of evidence were commissioned by artist Sean Lynch. So the first becomes a conceptual photograph and the second a contemporary sculpture.

And yet biomarine surveys are conducted in Kilkieran Bay and there are many DeLorean owners who lovingly maintain their vehicles. So the works also display what might be called the poetry of fact.

You may be wondering why part of a car factory is submerged off the coast of Galway. The fact is, after DeLorean went bankrupt, fishermen were among those who brought up the scrap.

The presses became anchors for fish farms, which themselves are no longer economically viable. So as you can see from its Progress Report, the DeLorean is going nowhere fast.

Sean Lynch’s installation can be seen as a possible future in Simon Starling: Never The Same River (Possible Futures, Probable Pasts) at Camden Arts Centre, until 20 February 2011.

You can download a .pdf of the car’s Progress Report from the artist’s website, here. And read an indepth feature on the project written by Kevin Barry in the Dublin Review.

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