Jacqueline liang 
email: meilin32liang@gmail.com 
Instagram: @hellucin8te

Automobile Autonomy

If you ever had a car related dream, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan would suggest that you are encountering an identity crisis.  What does our obsession with cars signify about our identities?     In essence, the obvious reasons are that the vehicles can shorten travel time, help transport goods, and grant us speed and adrenaline. Our preoccupations with cars are because they are objective–interactive objects that imbue an unfeeling, unbiased, submissive, and controllable sentiment.  We can transform vehicles however we’d like: make it a lowrider, paste it with decals, or run it’s wheels on an extreme camber.   In these ways you can directly project your desired self-image onto your car, and it will assume your identity obediently.  You have full control.

Jamieson Webster, a New York based psychoanalyst notes the pun in the word drive, in her “Riding in Cars with Jacques Lacan.” “Drive” as a verb, is something we do, and “drive” as a noun is something that acts upon us.” An automobile is capable of both.  A large body of my work was taken at the race tracks, and the automotive shop; they’re intended to show the physical act of driving, and how cars can become a “drive” for our desires and obsessions.  One of the ways that our human desires manifests through automobiles is the act of transforming the automobile into a phallic symbol. It becomes an object that symbolizes power, and it is very successful in it, to the extent that some societies also use this vehicle to objectify females consciously or unconsciously.  Another part of my work that was taken inside the domestic “sphere” of a home alludes to how societies use the female body as a vehicle for our desiring --- in place of an automobile.  Our infatuation with automobiles transfer onto the female bodies and gender roles, such as the use of female car show models, and in it, the hypersexulization of women into automata.