Collection Online of Museum Tinguely

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Jean Tinguely

Le Safari de la Mort Moscovite


Material / technique: Renault Safari, scrap iron, skulls, fabric, scythe, lamps, electric motor
Size: 270 x 520 x 180 cm
Inv.Number: 11351
Catalog: Bischofberger 0872
Creditline: Museum Tinguely, Basel, Donation Niki de Saint Phalle

“Le Safari de la Mort Moscovite“ is, like the ten-year-older “Klamauk”, a mobile sculpture that can be driven. Large wooden wheels are mounted on a scrapped Renault Safari, and on the wheels are affixed animal skulls, drumsticks and dolls. And over it all the scythe of Death is suspended, proclaiming far and wide who is arriving in this eerie vehicle. While in “Klamauk“ a pleasant, carefree air dominated, here the mood is coloured much more strongly by dark thoughts of death and final days. The car itself becomes a symbol of death. Actually, the “Safari“ was designed to drive only in snow, Tinguely is supposed to have said. And probably only in Moscow, one is tempted to add in view of the photo-montage of the car on snow-covered Red Square. This piece was built for an exhibition in Moscow in 1990, among other things with the aim of making the upward-striving Russians aware of the transience of luxury goods. Tinguely’s assistant Sepp Imhof tells of nighttime shopping sprees with the “Safari“ while preparing for the show in the Russian metropolis, during which the strange vehicle attracted surprisingly little attention. Even the police were willing, after a brief conversation in Schweizerdeutsch and Russian, to escort the “Safari“ and its passengers home to the Central House of Artists.

Pictures in our Collection

The following applies for uses of pictures in relation to our collection:
Museum Tinguely does not own any copyright in works by Jean Tinguely or other artists in the collection. The clarification of these rights and payment in respect of them is a matter for the applicant. In Switzerland, the collecting society responsible for this is ProLitteris, Zurich (link website: Museum Tinguely undertakes no liability for third party claims arising from infringement of copyright and personality rights.

Collection of Museum Tinguely

Works and work groups belonging to all phases of Jean Tinguely’s career are to be found in the museum's collection. Along with selected temporary loans, they afford the visitor an extensive view of the artist’s career. Apart from sculptures, the collection furthermore comprises a large number of drawings and letter-drawings, documents, exhibition posters, catalogues and documentation such as photographs. In the measure of the possible all the exhibits are accessible to the public and regularly shown, be it in the permanent collection or as loans to exhibitions worldwide.

The museum’s collections are the result of a generous donation by the artist’s widow, Niki de Saint Phalle, made on the occasion of its foundation, a donation of works from the Roche collection, as well as several other gifts and acquisitions.

>> Biography of Jean Tinguely

>> History of the collection