Fiat’s Famed Rooftop Track in Turin is Now an Outdoor Art Space

An ambitious and experiential plan

Fiat rooftop track
Fiat's rooftop track in 1928.
Dgtmedia, CC BY 3.0

Can an automobile be considered a work of art? Consider that an ongoing subject of debate among the aesthetically-minded, with the Museum of Modern Art’s recent show Automania as one particularly high-profile argument. On the other side of the Atlantic, another institution offers a different vision of how to bring together auto history with contemporary art.

The city where this is taking place is Turin, Italy — specifically, on the grounds of Fiat’s onetime headquarters, which is now home to the Pinacoteca Agnelli, an art museum. And, as The Art Newspaper revealed in a new article, the rooftop track that Fiat once used to test vehicles has been turned into an art walk.

That would be the La Pista 500, which includes 40,000 plants and artwork by Nina Beier, VALIE EXPORT, Sylvie Fleury, Shilpa Gupta, Louise Lawler, Mark Leckey and Cally Spooner. Moving forward, the museum plans to feature “installations conceived specifically by international artists” in what they describe as a hanging garden. It also sounds like we might see an electric Fiat or two making its way across the old track if the museum’s website is any indication.

It also has a distinct advantage over numerous other outdoor art spaces, as they cannot lay claim to being the location of a beloved scene from an acclaimed heist film. Could Fast X feature a setpiece at — say — Nashville’s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, thus raising the bar? We’ll know soon enough.

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