Archive for the ‘Announcement’ Category

Invitation to an Exhibition

September 21, 2015
Souvenir card, A4, on the basis of the drawing

You are Beautiful, too – an Exhibition for Children, Humans, and Finite Automatons, (A5, 2015)

This invitation card is in fact a souvenir card. Due to recent admonishments by paperless office activists, art mongers are now discouraged from sending out printed invitation cards. Instead, electronic invitiations are send out, and only those who venture out and actually visit the space presenting the physical artworks are allowed to take one card per person with them, so that they can deposit it on their coffeetable, fasten it with a magnet on the refrigerator door, or maybe even pin it to a pinboard, if they have one. The card then serves as a potentially permanent reminder of the event and where, when, and why it was obtained. It is designed to survive hundreds or thousands of years, if preserved properly in a sealed, clear, archival plastic sleeve which must be purchased separately. The idea is, of course, to ensure the artist and his work a very effective, totally voluntary kind of publicity, a kind of private publicity, so to speak. Incidentally, this card is based on the drawing “Karl Band, Holy Trinity Church, Cologne Poll, with 1906 Compound Touring car”, and was supposed to feature a hallmark of cautiously modern church design by the prolific church architect Karl Friedrich Heinrich Band (1900-1995), in conjunction with a Vintage car of a slightly earlier date. In fact, the historical truth is complex and was not sufficiently explored nor documented by the artist. The church, as it is now standing looks totally unlike the depicted church, which very much resembles the original church from 1928, which burned out in the year 1943. It was built from 1950-1953 after plans by Karl Band, who, according to the spirit of that time, tried to use as many remaining parts of the original as possible. The semi-original tower by Karl Band had to be torn down in the year 1968 (a very symbolic date), and was replaced with a yet more modern one by Hans Schilling. The church, as it stands to this day, is an example of typical brick based mid-century church design which has little or no similarities to the depicted one.


You are Beautiful, too

a poem for an exhibition
on the theme of a flock of sparrows joined by one escaped canary
and the author feeding birds
Six times seven-teen
Have you seen?
Rhymes make happy times

The sparrows look at me and beg
While I stand solemnly
on just one leg

With tiny beaks they eat and tweet
And stand on tiny sparrow’s feet

“You are not dressed in colours gay
But you prefer plain brown and grey!”

“You dance and frolic so around
I see the birds, but not the ground”

Then the crumbs are eaten all
And I stand lean, and stiff, and tall

The sparrows have eaten and flown away
And left me feathers, brown and grey

(Oh you creatures of the sky!
Will ever we see from eye to eye?)

Only a yellow canary
Is left behind, and looks at me
I wonder, when the sparrows look at you
What do they think? You’re beautiful, too?

Card design and original drawing © 2017 by Torsten Slama and the Tellurian Society

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Exhibition for Sorcerers and Sodomites

July 8, 2014
Exhibition announcement in the style of Knaur's Lexikon der alten Malerei

Exhibition Announcement and commemorative postcard (“hand-lettered”, in the style of “Knaurs Lexikon der alten Malerei”)

The following is an explanatory note, illuminating the origin of the exhibition’s title in connection with the shown exhibits, which are drawings and paintings of machines, mainly reciprocating engines, belonging to the group of heat engines.

“Und ob ich gleich keine Übeltat beging, dadurch ich das Leben verwirkt hätte, so war ich jedoch so ruchlos, daß man (außer den Zauberern und Sodomiten) kaum einen wüstern Menschen antreffen mögen.”

“And though I did no deed evil enough to forfeit my life, yet was I so reckless that, save for sorcerers and sodomites, no worse man could be found.”

Hans Jakob Christoph von Grimmelshausen. Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch (The Adventurous Simplicissimus). Book III, Chapter XI

Sodomites* commit the sexual act as a simple in-out, analogous to the movement of the piston in a reciprocating engine. The linear motion of in-out is historically a male model of dynamics. (Reciprocating engines then convert this linear motion into a circular motion, which is commonly constructed as a female kind of motion.)

Sorcerers believe they can get things done by other means than with their own hands, so they use magic, or magical machines.

Both these aspects make machines so ubiquitous and so powerful: their movements are restricted, free of emotion, and their productivity is in magical ways surpassing the natural human productivity. Incidentally, the machine also is commonly interpreted as a monument to western, masculine civilization.

*even though the term is now used to describe a wide variety of non-procreational sexual activities, it was originally far more clearly defined and solely used for people engaging in anal sex.The term and its interpretations can be used as a very instructive example for discussions of the social construction of deviancy, yet this is not the issue here.