Mexican Artist Crushes Tesla Model 3 Under 9-Ton Statue

Mexican sculptor Chavis Mármol dropped a nine-ton replica of an ancient Indigenous Olmec head onto the roof of a Tesla Model 3 in Mexico City as a brilliant commentary on modern society’s obsession with materialism, excess, and capitalism. This is Mármol’s latest art installation in a series where he uses the symbol of the Indigenous Olmec head as a representation of the cultural roots of the land, and of his, as well as all, Indigenous ancestors — ancestors whose way of life was and continues to be cast aside to make room for flashy, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, work hard and you’ll make something of yourself, capitalism.

This art installation is a powerful commentary on our society’s infatuation with hoarding inconceivable riches the way Tesla CEO Elon Musk does. You don’t become one of the richest men in the world with a net worth in the multi-billions without hoarding plenty of stuff. Mármol eloquently explained the significance of his sculpture in an interview, which translated roughly to,

The Olmec head imposes itself before the technological object, bursts it, crushes it, and in the end this glorified object with all that technology is just that; it is just a product of a capitalist system when in reality what really matters is where we come from, what we are, and what we have been, generation after generation.

I get it; this concept may sound a bit “woo woo” to many, but as our greedy and wasteful way of life has landed us with increasingly severe and life threatening weather systems across the globe, islands of trash floating around our oceans, and microplastics flowing through our bloodstreams, it feels appropriate. Our materialistic and wasteful ways haven’t really served our species particularly well.

A side view of the blue Tesla Model 3 crushed under the giant Olmec head

An artwork by artist Chavis Marmol, a Tesla 3 car crushed by a nine-ton Olmec-inspired head, is pictured in Mexico City on March 13, 2024. A 42-year-old sculptor, Marmol has never owned a car and travels by bicycle, but he had the luxury of unloading with cranes the nine-ton effigy on a blue Tesla 3, one of the electric models manufactured by US billionaire Elon Musk’s company.
Photo: CARL DE SOUZA/AFP (Getty Images)

Elon Musk is the physical embodiment of this toxic excess. His ideas claim to revolutionize humanity, even going so far as planting microchips in human brains, and yet we as a species are facing more horrifying realities day after day. Food prices are skyrocketing. Housing has become insecure as the cost of homes skyrocket and rental prices soar. The wages that most folks make are unlivable. Our current path as a species feels unsustainable, and honestly disrespectful to the planet that has supported us and our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years.

This art installation is a poignant reminder that we are still just little flesh sacks on a rock flying through space, no matter how far we think we have come as a society. An object that many people dream about one day owning can be rendered valueless in an instant. This powerful sculpture reminds us that human life and human desire is transient. What society should really value instead of money and possessions is happiness, joy, and making the most out of the short time that each of us has on this planet. Thank you for making us think, Chavis Mármol.

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