Ruscha Chapter 1

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S.R: So we have Ed Ruscha, in the Roosey Gallery in New York at the 27th of September. My first question is a relation to your talk yesterday at the Whitney Museum. At he beginning you were showing two different gear state shifts, is that right the term? And you were talking about the difference between the ford was is it a 52,53? \Ruscha: 1954\ 1954 and the Caddy \the Chevrolet was the one and the ford was the other\ Chevy, sorry. And I wanted to ask you how was the difference to the Citroen the deux chevault?

Ed Ruscha: Considerable difference, well in those years like in the 1950s when I first get an automobil it was a big thing, big deal. There where no such things as Japanese cars, there were no such things as foreign cars, the only thing that was foreign was maybe something like what they called sports cars which were English, Austin Heeles things like that. They had barely, I don't think there was Volkswagen when I grew up only in maybe the very late 50s or certainly in the 60s when the Volkswagen Bug was a popular automobil. But there was only American cars when we grew up and so there was only an opportunity to dream about an American car. So the working mens car was either a Ford or Chevy or Plymouth, those were the three basic automobils and I gravitated towards a Ford and it seemed like the gear shift nob, that little nob that you changed the gears with was had more, had a more of reality to me, the way it was shaped and the fact that you could grasp it with your entire hand and make this motion with the mechanics of the gear shift. And it became not just a functional thing it was a industrial design choice. And I in somewhere in my mind made this a contest between the Ford and Chevy and I had a opportunity to get a Chevy I thought I liked that Ford because of that nob. So you take these two choices and they lead you somewhere else.

S.R.: And how was the Citroen?

R: I got the Citroen 1961 when .. I liked the idea that you could by a car for 700 $ and so I travelled with my mother an brother through Europe and we found that you could by one of those Citroen deux cheval for 700 $ and new and pick it up in Paris, drive it off and it would get incredible gas mileage and so that was another step for me it was like a European step for me. So I put like 60.000 miles of driving on that car.

S.R.: I had one also. It was quite stupid. It was very common in Germany to have one of that.

R: Today I think they allow those cars in the United States because of safety rules. /Really?/

R: I think so, you see one (??) but they were probably brought here before the rules changed.


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