Archive for the ‘Typography’ Category

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.