Jacqueline Hassink: Car Girls
The Travel Edition
Text by Tim Dant.
It remains to be seen whether the practice of using female models to embody the corporate identities of international auto companies was in fact a final spasm of extravagance from an industry now in crisis. Thankfully, Dutch photographer Jacqueline Hassink's Car Girls is a subversively fun, conceptually sharp and smartly designed document of the spectacle. A body of work that has taken more than five years to complete, Car Girls captures seven car shows in cities on three different continents. Each site was chosen by Hassink to reflect different cultural values regarding ideal images of women and beauty. By highlighting the association between gender, sexuality, power and commodification, Hassink heightens the surreality of the show, revealing what she identifies as "a moment of performance in which the women became more like a doll or a tool instead of an individual." Earlier this year, a 1,500-copy limited edition of Car Girls was published. This second, "travel-sized" edition of Hassink's instant classic has been created to satisfy popular demand, and was, like the first edition, exquisitely designed by Irma Boom.
Jacqueline Hassink, born in Enschede, the Netherlands in 1966, has published extensively, most recently The Power Book (2007) and Domains of Influence (2008). Her photographs are in the collections of the Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among other institutions. She is represented by Cohen Amador Gallery, New York.