In 2023 BMW will return to the highest level of endurance racing to win the 24 Hours of Lemans. The last time BMW took on this grueling 24-hour race in 1999 it came away victorious with the now legendary BMW V12 LMR. In 1999 BMW didn’t just field its Le Mans-winning car at the 24-hour race and used a unique art car during qualifying. Today this thought-provoking art car is on display at the Munich Opera house to remind us of one of BMW’s greatest race cars.
In a video interview about her BMW art car, American artist Jenny Holitzer is quite clear. She creates art the is meant to be thought-provoking and focuses a viewer’s attention on the content rather than if the art is good or bad. Jenny’s art isn’t constrained to a normal canvas, instead, her work of interesting phrases is displayed in unique ways to gain a viewer’s attention.
For the BMW V12 LMR race car, which is BMW art car number 15, Jenny Holitzer chose a unique combination of phrases specific to the spectacle of endurance racing. The full text from the art car reads, “Protect me from what I want, the unattainable is invariably attractive, you are so complex you don't respond to danger, lack of charisma can be fatal, monomania is a prerequisite of success, what urge will save us now that sex won't?”
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This interesting combination of phrases was specifically targeted at the racing fans and race car drivers who make up the 24 hours of Lemans race. Instead of seeing a race car going around a track quickly you are now also thinking about the motivation of the driver, what it takes to win, and the thrill of piloting a car at the limit.
All of these words are fairly normal but you may be wonder what monomania is? Well, it’s defined as the exaggerated or obsessive enthusiasm for or preoccupation with one thing. And that one thing is winning the 24 hours of Lemans.