Archive for the ‘Modern Architecture’ 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

House for Quasi Phantom Regions

November 28, 2016
Country House with Hip Roof B8090 by Torsten Slama 2016

Country House with Hip Roof B 8090
(Oils on canvas on wood, 50,3 x 62,8cm)

This house is for the lover of open country, but with no need for the flora and fauna usually associated with it. It is a house for the Frommian necrophiliac. This country lies on the surface of a planet roughly the size of Earth, but much heavier and with a very thick, almost water-like foggy atmosphere. Consequently the ground resembles the deep sea floor on Earth. A hint of some form of vegetation, either aquatic or coniferous can be surmised or easily dismissed in the milky background. Tastefully arranged on the premises are one replicated Silurian nautilus shell, various simplified crystal sculptures made of polymethylmethacrylate coated with transparent SiO2 thin films in hues of yellow, pink, and green, and several geometric primitives of synthetic plaster. The house itself is the sparsely ornamented, simplified version of a terranean postmodern country house catering for the aspiring single person or couple in the lower medium affluent income range and has the catalog number B 8090. It is especially suited for the writer of semi-popular fantasy novels. Note that it comes without garage, as such is not necessary on a planet without any destinations to travel to. The windows, though ostensibly made of some glass-like material, are either covered from the inside with blue boards, or the whole house might be filled with some blue tinted medium or nutritive solution. The inside of the house might be dark, artificially illuminated, or not existing. The owner or owners of the house might be immaterial, but still in need of spiritual nourishment, provided by the large space crystal floating in the dense, soup-like sky. This atmospheric painting © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the Fantasy Society

Planetary School for Youth-Oriented Teachings of Right and Wrong

November 26, 2016
 Drawing of a school for problematic youths, staffed with progressive teachers, this drawing © Torsten Sama and the Progressive Society, 2021

Hardt-Waltherr Hämer, Juvenile Delinquent Youth Project,
Ingolstadt, 1962-66 (A3, 2016)

This voluminous structure of concrete and gold tinted glass is located in a progressive settlement called “Ingolstadt” on a far-away double planet in the system of the theoretical Öpik-Oort-Cloud. The building is fashioned as a life-size replica of the actual edifice, the municipal theater in the city of Ingolstadt, Germany, Earth. The building itself is rather imposing, especially in the realm of the horizontal, but this aspect of massiveness has been nicely set off with an arrangement of haphazardly placed street signs of unclear meaning, and a carefully unfinished look of the surrounding street scenery. Also a meticulously arranged add-on to the composition are the two vintage motor-bikes of German make parked in front of it. They belong to the school’s most progressive teachers, one fatherly male religion teacher, and one instructor  for violence-free negotiation techniques of uncommitted gender. The helmet placed to the side of the motor bike in front serves as a signal of trust. This is a theft-free zone. Looming over the horizon, the second planet of the double system, which is also earth-like, with vast and mostly untapped supplies of oxygen and water, left unsettled, serving as a recreational area for the partner planet. In the sky, floating over the school, a general semantics surveillance unit which  scans the whole perimeter of that school for occurrences of plain right and plain wrong according to objectivist criteria. The  gold-tinted glass panes of the building reflect the surroundings in unclear abstract configurations while still giving a hint of transparency. This atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the Progressive Society

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 am Horn – A System House for the Modern Couple

April 7, 2016
Muche, Gropius, Meyer, Haus am Horn, 1923, Bauhaus, Drawing from 2016, this drawing ©2017 by Torsten Slama

Gerorg Muche, Haus am Horn, 1923
(A3; 42×29,7cm)

This house, a monument to the phallic guilt complex of modern patriarchal architecture, lives in a place of rich historical meaning for a certain variety of people. The hypothetical new owners, formers employees of the local financial institute which co-financed the costly renovation and restoration of this model building for the system family, exerting their ownership rights and overriding certain restrictive laws concerning historical hallmark structures, tried to add to the concept by painting the building a strange variety of pink, and placing a gaily painted totem pole of western American red cedar in the style of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America on the premises. A nice wooden smell wafts through the area which is repellent to the common clothes moth, tineola bisselliella.

Looking at photographs of the original edifice, one is befallen by a baffling mixture of internal reactions. The masculinity of the design coexists with a maternal womb-like character achieved. The legend of the immortal uterus turned into stone. A 1923 drawing by Farkas Molnár, entitled “Georg and El Muche and the Haus am Horn” reveals a certain hetero-erotic dream aspect of the original concept. Before the erection (sic!) of the building, the land served as a vegetable garden for the local school for architects. Look at this 2016 drawing. Discern the different symbolic items distributed over the picture. A pole, a hose, a ball, a wall, a building. Generic vegetation. A Mark 1 inoculator floating in the sky above the chimney.Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Wedding Ring