V12 Laraki Gearbox (exploded)

Eric van Hove, Belgian (born in Algeria, works in Brussels and Marakech), born 1975



112 parts (21 materials): yellow copper, red copper, nickel, silver, tin, resin, paint, Middle Atlas white cedar wood, Walnut wood, Lemon wood, Thuya wood, Mahogany wood, Moroccan beech wood, cow bone, camel bone, cow horn, cow-skin, Chinese superglue, wood glue

Overall: 141 3/4 × 23 5/8 × 19 11/16 in. (360 × 60 × 50 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through The Robert J. Strasenburgh II 1942 Fund, the Julia L. Whittier Fund, and the Contemporary Art Fund

© Eric Van Hove



Place Made: Belgium, Europe


21st century

Object Name


Research Area



Not on view


Eric van Hove created an exact replica of a Mercedes-Benz V12 engine gearbox using materials and techniques of traditional craftsmanship from the Maghreb region of Africa. The many individual pieces include metalwork with yellow and red copper, nickel, and silver; woodwork with Middle Atlas white cedar, walnut, lemon, thuya, mahogany, and Moroccan beech wood; as well as cow bone, camel bone, cow horn, and cow skin. The careful, traditional craftsmanship of van Hove and the dozens of craftsmen who work with him in his atelier is juxtaposed with the manufactured nature of a gearbox. Van Hove explores the interaction between tradition and modernity that persists in contemporary African art. This work also raises interesting questions about industrialization and the factory process through their reversal in the creation of an industrial product using traditional handcraft methods and materials.

From the 2019 exhibition Global Contemporary: A Focus on Africa, curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Curator of African Art

Course History

HIST 63.2 , Reading Artifacts: The Material Culture of Science, Richard Kremer, Spring 2016

Exhibition History

Eppur si muove exhibition, MUDAM Luxembourg July 2015 – January 2016.

Eric Van Hove: The Craft of Art, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 5-May 1, 2016.

Global Contemporary: A Focus on Africa; Dorothy and Churchill Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26-December 8, 2019.


The artist; sold to present collection, 2016.

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