Archive for the ‘Antique Car’ Category

Mannaheim Progressive Pro-Choice Clinic

December 7, 2016
Women's Medical Centre with earliest motor vehicle by Karl Benz, © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro-Brick Society

Woman’s Medical Centre with 1886 Benz Patent Motorcar (Oils on canvas on wood, 50,3 x 62,8cm)

Photographic reproduction of a painting which is positioned  somewhere on the borderline demarcating the difference between the entirely satisfactory with added interest, and one of the lesser efforts in the field of true painting. Due to experiments with the preparation and priming of the canvas, the behavior of the paint was unexpected. Thus the ebetweenxecution lacks fluency. The technically inferior quality of the photographic reproduction adds to the impression of a very strange atmosphere permeating the picture, ambiguously oscillating between  moodiness and Objectivism. The symbolism; moon, spiral, car, and brick, is rather balanced, but with the addition of some sea shells, it is clearly shifted into the realm of female reproduction. (Of course, this is based on highly untrustworthy  assessments of gender-classification of objects. Ed.)

The building does, or at least did, actually exist, somewhere on the British Islands. The photocopy of a photograph of the building from a book on Brutalist architecture garnered at the Düsseldorf Central Library some 25 years ago exists, yet, due to negligence, lacks any inscription for further contextual elucidation of the source. So neither information on the architect nor the actual location of this interestingly proportioned edifice can be provided, much to this author’s disgust.

This painting is based on that drawing. Drawing is finer, possibly more accomplished. Yet the painting adds something. Mostly it adds the je-ne-sais-quoi. Painting and explanatory note © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro-Brick Society IPB

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Euro-Continental Pro America Church “Paul Gerhardt”

May 23, 2016
Kurt Hatlauf Gelsenkirchen Ückendorf Paul Gerhardt with 1903 Cadillac Runabout. This drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama and the Pro America Society

Paul Gerhardt Church Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf with 1903 Cadillac Model A Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

Behold here a fine example of evangelical church design in the vein of tasteful international modernism, a sight, not altogether typical, but not unusual either in a time when there was still a lively interest in all church things, yet the decline of church business was already clearly visible on the horizon of time as men know it (not geological time). Witness the gleam of the main building’s big glass front – a huge abstract dyptich of biblical proportions – which is clearly an early Euro-continental reference to the big coloured front face tradition of modern American churches. This church, built many decades ago, at some not exactly verifiable point in the 1960s, still stands, yet is robbed of its dominant feature; the space around it. Today, it is sadly hidden behind parked cars and fences, and swallowed up by attached public service facilities: an old people’s home, a kindergarten.

Note how the nave is separated from the church tower in this design. A separation of things usually compacted into one edifice might be due to conscious conceptual considerations, or simply a sign of the times. What this separation signifies is the American-Fordian thought and practice pattern of division of labour – the tower; the reaching out facility, both reaching out for the congregation, reaching out for god (also a structure akin to a giant billboard/beacon with built in audio component) – the congregation and worship hall a place of production, production of faith, the plant proper.

A note of significance in consideration of this aspect of division: the church was designed not by a star of modern church building, but a lesser architect by the name of Kurt Hatlauf, who also designed several commercial buildings in and around Gelsenkirchen, and for some time served as the manager of the local football club of national fame, a post which surely earned him substantial recognition and probably was deemed the more salient factor of his career. So obviously a figure whose feet were planted squarely, but separately, one in the world of commerce, the other in a world of spiritual values (achievement/ fame, worship/faith). According to oral history, Kurt Hatlauf liked driving around in big American cars, which helps in reconstructing the motivational background for this attempt at an American style church (unable yet to hide its European origins), the Americanism further underlined here by the inclusion of a giant size Kachina doll sculpture.This rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the IPA Society

Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstraße 112, Berlin-Steglitz

January 30, 2016
Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstr 112, Berlin-Steglitz, with 1936 Opel Olympia, Architect Hugo Häring, 1936, this drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama

Hugo Häring, Haus Ziegler, Lepsiusstr, with 1936 Opel Olympia
(A3; 42×29,7cm)

Colour correctness of this image can only be approximate. Possible peachy hues befit the intended atmosphere. This building can still be found at the address Lepsiusstraße 112 in Berlin Steglitz. This rendering depicts it surrounded by vegetation not typical for this region. The rest of the setting is fairly accurate, though partly guesswork. The German car in the foreground is of exactly the same date as the portrayed edifice. While the building is starkly modernist and, indeed, conceptual, the car is a slightly Germanized and downsized version of a Ford car. Picture the building as an old and also moderately neglected farm house in Vermont, picture the car as a Ford, and try and consider the person inside the house. This person is not the engineer Fritz Ziegler, but a different kind of character. After having unsuccessfully tried to stay of a beleaguerment by local aliens which are indeed not aliens but a kind of native sort of aliens (or, “Old Ones”), the original Ziegler was transferred to a metal cylinder while the actual person inside the house is not really a person but one of those said aliens, who has taken the place of Ziegler. You enter that place, expecting to find Ziegler, wanting to discuss his predicament. He, it, she (the impostor), is sitting in an armchair, has a buzzy voice, doesn’t move the lips while talking almost inaudibly, and occasionally nods to lend the mask it is wearing  a semblance of liveliness. Also, a pair of gloves are needed to hide the claw-like appendices. The legs are altogether useless, since their chitinous character makes them awkward and noisy as tools of propulsion on the medium of a wooden floor. It is good that there is a car in front of that house. If you are able to operate it, you might be able to flee this place. Some people might consider that angle in the house’s front as the most telling of its evil modernist hallmarks. In truth, it can be easily imagined that that angle, once you have gotten used to it, endears you to this place. What with that special kind of decorative and frost-resistant facade, the clinkers arranged in an order called the “Prüß-Verband”.Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society

Cologne St. John Baptist with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

October 11, 2015
St. John Baptist Church (Cologne) by Karl Band, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout

Karl Band, Cologne St. John Baptist, with 1901 Oldsmobile Runabout (A3; 42×29,7cm)

This is a beautiful example of the art of repair and rebuilding, as practised widely in the middle of the former century, in this undisclosed place, which met with generous structural destruction in the second half of the Second Great War, and thus had a chance to develop a unique style of modernity in rebuilding, a style which flourished for only a little more than one decade, only to be replaced by a still unique, but aesthetically rather unsatisfactory industrialized construction process, using holistically questionable materials like Ytong, autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), calcium silicate units, and mineral insulation board.

In this short blessed phase before the chemical industrial complex got on its feet again and took over the construction market, brick was the preferred building material; often recycled from the rubble which was lying around in great quantities to be collected and reused or heaped wholesale into artificial hills. Concrete, if it was used, remained mostly unadorned and unhidden, its surface showing the marks of the cast in which it was poured, a practice which developed, outside of its niche as a method of artistic repair for churches and damaged art museums, into a fashion, an alternative International Style utilizing less glass and steel, more brick and concrete, mostly employed in the construction of publically funded municipal buildings, police stations, universities, or social housing projects. This style, though, did not really take hold here, in this undisclosed place, but abroad, were minds were more open, less  numbed.

This church, first recorded in the year 1090, suffered extensive damage during the war, and then became what was locally praised a jewel of modern reconstruction, a reconstruction which was realized by the architect/builder Karl Band, who could be considered the North Rhine Westphalian version of the Bavarian Hans Döllgast.

This church now serves as a combined worship and convention center for the CRUX youth movement, which aims to spiritually cleanse and refresh the world though collective missionary itineracy.

This rendering of that church is embellished with an imaginary natural scenery in the background, a slightly enlarged vintage motorcar, and the stylized depiction of a floating device housing a solar propulsion motor. Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Pro Brick Society

Atmospheric Church of Fuzzy Wisdom (Cologne Dellbruck, 1941, View from North)

September 28, 2015
Church Drawing by Torsten Slama

Karl Band, Köln Dellbrück St. Norbert, Ansicht von Nord 1940, mit 1910 Benz Limousine (A3; 42×29,7cm)

Atmospheric rendering of the Curch of Fuzzy Wisdom, situated in a forgotten spot in a forgotten part of a half-forgotten City. Fuzziness is demonstrated by the singular double tower design feature, entrance, and thus partaking of Fuzzy Wisdom, is facilitated by a special entrance unit which leads through the gap between the two towers, into the actual congregation hall. Vehicles of all sorts as well as less ceremonial visitors can also find ingress through a comfortably sized side door which leads through the left (the rational) tower of Fuzzy Wisdom. This practical entrance is facing the north, thus no disturbing, directional sunlight will disturb the minds of the visitors or the architectural unity and dignity of the building. A rather beautiful, off-white, vintage Benz limousine is parked in front ot the north facade, forming a well calculated aesthetic unity with the less mechanical minded edifice.

Floating in the sky over roof of the congregation hall; a spiritual inseminator in the act of spiritualizing an inflatable effigy of an early space-craft design (for a deeper insight in the symbolism of this floating sculpture, see Tellurialism).

This church is officialy (in order to appease traditional catholic church authorities) dedicated to a rather nondescript Saint, Norbert Gennep, who was born on the left bank of the Rhine, in the town of Xanten, part of the Electorate of Cologne (Kurfürstentum Köln), which was an an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire and existed from the 10th to the early 19th century. Saint Norbert was a rather quintessential possessor of Fuzzy Wisdom, whos life principles where as well marked by a distinct careerism and opportunism, and a well pronounced “spiritualism”, which allowed him for instance, to give away all his worldly possessions, without ever falling into the spriitually endangering situation of poverty (non-possession). Note also the following supposedly monist (one-towered, anti-fuzzy) concluding act in Norbet’s life: in the schism following the election of Pope Innocent II in 1130, Norbert supported Innocent and resisted Antipope Anacletus II. In Norbert’s last years, he was chancellor and adviser to Lothair II, the Holy Roman Emperor, persuading him to lead an army in 1133 to Rome to restore Innocent to the papacy. The all-knowing Fuzzy Authority has the unfailing power though to render all and especially those acts of seeming determination and single-direction into the paralle-opposite, thus establishing perfect equanimity and neutrality (see Kohelet 2:11 “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the Society of Fuzziness and Equanimity

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

The Sirian Experiment

March 25, 2015
 Pauluskirche, Schwenningen (1910), Architekt Martin Elsässer, with eearly BMW Motorbike, Drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama

St. Paul’s Church, Schwenningen, with early BMW Motorbike (42×29,7cm, pencil and coloured pencil on paper, 2015)

The image above depicts a worship centre of the heliocentric kind, devoted to adoring the heavens and everything above. An art work was commissioned to make a visual statement about the function of the building. The artist decided to create a holographic projection of unclear direction—a wavelike pattern is discernible, one assumes that there is some kind of dynamic involved, but it is not clear whether the waves are undulating in a downward direction, sent from some heavenly entity, or whether they are going up, towards said entity. Also, the waves are banded in a multicoloured fashion, but clearly not following the known order of wavelengths in the visible electromagnetic spectrum. The colours in which they present themselves (or, are presented) seem to follow an unfathomable (artistic?) taste pattern, which however might hypothetically be based on some scientific principle on the level of quantum mechanics. (Theologians across the world are very enamored with quantum theory, as quanta are known to behave erratically, contrary, obstinate, and wayward, when observed by a merely human observer. They do that on a basis of knowing things before they occur, communicating (?) with each other on a pre-emptive timeline, in short, displaying many characteristics of Godly perfection. Thus, in an ontogenetic system of proof, they are showing exactly that which God must possess, which shows that he, she, it, must exist.)

As an afterthought, the artist added a floating three-dimensional optical illusion to remind human observers of the futility of observation, of the necessity to stop observing and start worshipping. The progressive parson to whom this church was assigned parks his vintage BMW motorbike in front of the church to remind his parish of the parallel nature of worldliness and spirituality, the necessity to practice parallel thinking.

* * *

“I remember […] reading an agreeable tale about a species of highly intelligent giraffes who travelled by spaceship from their solar system to ours, to ask if our sun was behaving cruelly to us, as theirs had recently taken to doing to them.”
(Doris Lessing)

“Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là.” 
(Pierre-Simon Laplace)

Illusrative sketch and explanatory note © 2017-2021 by Torsten Slama, Critical Heliocentrics Society

House for the Successful Magician’s Third Spouse

October 25, 2013
Casa per la terza moglie del mago di successo © Torsten Slama e La Fondazione Domestica

House for Successful Magician’s Third Spouse (with Benz Motorbike) [42×29,7cm, 2013]

The story behind this picture is not entirely satisfactory and has a few ethical issues. Possible implications concerning the Successful Magician’s domestic situation are based on one specific, questionable kind of speculation. The contained symbolism is subject to internal debate. Success is oftentimes but the wealth and authority associated with successful mendacity, hypocrisy, manipulation. This is the Successful Magician’s kind of success. He still finds enough traditionally minded potential spouses of petit-bourgeois origin to have his pick. His first chosen partner was maybe a mistake, the second one not mistaken enough, the third spouse-partner-wife seems by virtue of her young age and natural breeding suitable to give rise to his long wished for successor (to make success complete), and also take care of his finances. The story could be so changed that all protagonists are of the opposite (or same) sex. All gender and age combinations are possible and would produce stories of a similarly or differently perceived character. In the above described form, it is also a story which will soon be outmoded, or, if it occurs, will be rightfully seen as highly unusual and freakish, hinting at possible abuse.

© 2017 by the Torsten Slama Historical Society

Women’s Medical Centre with First Motor Driven Vehicle

April 7, 2013
Women's Medical Centre and Abortion Clinic with 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen by Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Benz  & Cie. © 2021 by Hecate Sibonga, Torsten Slama, International Publications Organization

Women’s Medical Centre with 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen by Rheinische Gasmotorenfabrik Benz & Cie. (Pencil, coloured pencil, acrylics, shellack. A3, 2013)

Depicted is a medical centre exclusively for women, offering medical treatment for diseases of the female genital apparatus and applications of advanced pro-choice technology. The Benz three-wheeler parked in front of the clinic is a permanent installation reminding of a period where men were still relatively unchallenged in their claim over the field of artificial invention, as opposed to “natural” creation, the female secret, Bachofen’s swampland of unlimited fertility.

The staff of the medical centre elected to dedicate their institute to the renowned Scottish electrical engineer and laser scientist A. Catrina Bryce. The official designation for the institute is thus: Women’s Medical Centre “Ann Catrina Bryce”. A schematized, floating model of the laser was chosen as the sign of the centre, at night emitting a beam searching the night sky, reminding the nearby female population of the fact that now women are in control of phallic technology, putting it to empowering pro-choice use in advanced abortion procedures and the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beams to vaporize abnormal cervical tissue. The spiral shape of the laser emitting beacon refers to one of the oldest symbols concerning everything anti-phallic, also alludes to contraception via Intrauterine-System (IUS), or Hormonic Coil.Illustrative sketch and explanatory note © 2013 by Torsten Slama