Saabs from around the World

Automemento: The car as we know it is on its way into history

Visual artist Terje Risberg has shown his prints with motifs of old car wrecks at two exhibitions in Norway. Now the art project “Automemento” is out in book form. This year’s most beautiful book about the car is a parade among old wrecks – and an invitation to reflect on what the car has been – and should be.

As a graphic designer, Risberg is known for his nature and landscape motifs, and in the search for motifs he found the cars that are now the starting point for Automemento. “I have been looking for landscapes, in the Arctic and Sahara, in Europe and Asia. On these trips I have come across objects that do not belong to the landscape. Man-made objects, abandoned ruins that no longer serve any purpose. Some of these ruins have been cars“, says Risberg about the project.

artwork by Terje Risberg
Saab: artwork by Terje Risberg

The book itself first and foremost shows a little over 50 of the graphic artwork Risberg made in the project. certainly one of such cars – cars that marked an era, is the Saab! Just like that, Saab cars marked an era, and are slowly making history. In Terje’s book, those Saab cars that are closer to that history are painted.

The pictures are accompanied by three texts, , two of them about the car: An introduction by author Per Petterson, a text by Peter Dahlgren, professor emeritus in communication and media at the University of Lund and an essay on Risberg’s pictures of Åsmund Thorkildsen, director of the Drammens Museum. In conclusion, the book has a bunch of pictures of Risberg from the work process, with some brief considerations about the background for the project.