Liz Cohen "Trabantamino"

Salon 94 Bowery

poster for Liz Cohen "Trabantamino"

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Salon 94 Bowery is pleased to open our renovated doors with an exhibition of Detroit-based artist Liz Cohen. "Trabantamino" takes center stage after eight years of body work and an unlikely journey from the former East Germany to Oakland, Scottsdale, and Detroit. "Trabantamino" is a hybridized car and kinetic sculpture that combines a former East German Trabant with a Chevrolet El Camino.
The Trabantamino is an amalgam of two different now-defunct Cold War era types: the East German “people’s car-” humble, anonymous, and functional, and the all-American, large-bodied, low-rider cowboy car. The sculpture contains roughly equal parts of both cars; its main frame a modest Trabant beige, yet then extends out into the full length of the El Camino- showing off its newly chromed American parts.

Cohen purchased the Trabant in 2002 in Berlin, and in the intervening years has become a master mechanic, doing most of the physical work herself. With the help of her mechanic mentors, including Dave Ornellas of World Wide Customs in Oakland; Don Barselloti of Elwood Bodyworks in Scottsdale; and Harvey Ledesma, Don Roberts, and Tom Mello at Kustom Creations in Detroit, Cohen learned the tools of the trade. In the process she hybridized herself, taking on the seemingly disparate roles of journeyman mechanic and bikini-clad car show model, mimicking the pinups found on body shop walls.

Originally a photographer, Cohen began the Trabantamino as a way to break down the barriers between her models and herself, literally becoming what she documented. Alongside the car, the gallery will be showing a series of photographs called the "5 P’s (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance)" from 2005. Cohen documented every tool amassed by her original mentor, Bill Cherry, throughout his thirty-plus years as a mechanic. The tools are photographed starkly, in black and white on a cement ground, and are reminiscent of Walker Evans’ 1955 project “The Beauty of the Common Tool.” In addition, we will include the ephemera and various publications featuring the Trabantamino, from inception to display.



from October 07, 2010 to November 06, 2010

Opening Reception on 2010-10-07 from 18:00 to 20:00


Liz Cohen

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