Mixed media (53 materials): Middle Atlas white cedar wood, high Atlas red cedar wood, walnut wood, lemon wood, orange wood, ebony wood of Macassar, mahogany wood, thuya wood, Moroccan beech wood, pink apricot wood, mother-of-pearl, yellow copper, nickel plated copper, red copper, forged iron, recycled aluminum, nickel silver, silver, tin, cow bone, goat bone, malachite of Midelt, agate, green onyx, tigers eye, Taroudant stone, sand stone, red marble of Agadir, black marble of Ouarzazate, white marble of Béni Mellal, pink granite of Tafraoute, goatskin, cowskin, lambskin, resin, cow horn, rams horn, ammonite fossils of the Paleozoic from Erfoud, Ourika clay, geometric terra cotta with vitreous enamel (zellige), green enamel of Tamgrout, paint, cotton, argan oil, cork, henna, rumex.
Size (closed for transport): 110cm x 90cm x 86cm
Size (open for exhibit): 160cm x 160cm x 132cm
Weight: 380Kg (450Kg once crated) – Composite sculpture (about 465 parts)
Courtesy: Collection Hood Museum of Arts, New Hampshire, USA
Photo: François Fernandez
Craftsmen involved: Abdelkhader « dragon » Hmidouch, Abdeljalil Ait Boujmiâa, Mohamed Ouhaddou, Mohamed Essaouissi, Mehdi Ghinati, Youssef Balali, Ahmed Slioum, Idrissy Mouhssine, Abdelilah Oukili, Brahim Bousehmain, Abdelghafour Boutkrout, Lahsen Iwi, Abdoussadek Damas, Aziz Bahou, Abdelfatah Chaloukh, Adbelatif Boulaâdam, Moulay Hafid, Hassan Boufars, Hassan, Mustafa Sahli, Abdellah Zegzoutti, Abdelmounaim Boutbaa, Mustafa Jaouale, Abdelghafour Idrissy, Brahim Zouak, Redouane Errahel, (Frères Ouhaddou) Salam Ouhaddou, (Frères Ouhaddou) Lhsen Ouhaddou, Haj Kabour, Touria El Azri, Abdelali Mesmoudi, Omar Mesmoudi, Abdelkarim Rejrari, Société Afritour, Abdelrahim Boutkrout, Mohamed Chakir, Mohamed douaz Nawi, Said Kabli, Abdelatif Ait zineb, Abdelali El khadraji, Lhsan Ait Hadouch, Abdelatif Farhat, Hadri Moulay El Hafid, Abderahim Ait Boujmiâ, Abdelghani El Idrissi, Noureddine Belfednasi, Omar Jaouale, Khalid Ktir, Abdeljalil Jenwan, Hassan El Mouadine, Abdellah El Kakani, Hicham Ait Boujmiâ
In 2004 at the Geneva auto show, a designer from Casablanca named Abdeslam Laraki introduced the public to the first supercar ever to be created 100% in Morocco: the Laraki Fulgura. Every component of this luxury car was made and designed in the Laraki workshop in Casablanca, where the car was also built. Obviously, there was an incentive to prove that the Moroccan industry could produce what had, until then, only been achieved by larger industrial nations. But there was one part of the car that couldn’t be made in the country: the engine. So, its developers imported a Mercedes V12 from Germany. The whole African continent thrives on proving what it can achieve in these post-colonial times of social revolution; the Fulgura’s concept draws from this popular enthusiasm while remaining a luxury car intended for the elite; it isn’t a Volkswagen.
In 2011, Eric van Hove made the decision pick up where Laraki’s work had left off by recreating that same Mercedes-Benz V12 engine using Morocco’s nationwide network of craftsmen.
The Arab world has long considered Mercedes-Benz to be the best and most respected carmaker. V12 Laraki would give local craftsmen, and the social class they represent, the opportunity to prove themselves in an oedipal struggle to challenge the symbol of Western industrial achievement and restore the original claim behind the Fulgura’s creation: with the people, for the people.
During the nine-month endeavor that has ensued, around fifty craftsmen from around Morocco joined him, bringing with them an array of legacies, skills, and traditions. There was one thing that all the participants of this diverse group agreed on: if Moroccan craftsmen could succeed in producing a Mercedes-Benz V12 engine, then anything would be possible.
Essays related to this sculpture which were originaly published in the catalogue V12 Laraki –Eric van Hove, published by Fenduq Press in 2014. http://www.mottodistribution.com/wholesale/v12-laraki.html (ISBN 978-9090284941)
– The Absolute Heart (Le Cœur Absolu) by Simon Njami – read here.
– V12 Laraki / V12 Fulgura by Hamid Irbouh – read here.
– The Oeuvre Nonpareil by Amanda Sarroff Robion – read here.
– Soft Machine by Laurent Courtens – read here.