Artist: Torsten Slama
Venue: Kimmerich, New York
Exhibition Title: New Directions in Space Planning
Date: April 27 – June 23, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kimmerich, New York
Germanic House Research
“Most horrible of all sights are the little unpainted wooden houses remote from travelled ways, usually squatted upon some damp grassy slope or leaning against some gigantic outcropping of rock. Two hundred years and more they have leaned or squatted there[…]”
“A moment later came the titanic thunderbolt of thunderbolts; blasting that accursed house of unutterable secrets and bringing the oblivion which alone saved my mind.”
(The Picture in the House, by H. P. Lovecraft. Written 12 December 1920, Published 1921 in the July 1919 issue of The National Amateur, Vol. 41, No. 6, p. 246-49.)
The exhibition “New Directions in Space Planning (With a Free Gift from the Schessmanweil Powers)” comprises 6 small drawings of different one-family dwellings in various Central European styles of the 20th century, two thematically linked oil paintings, and a series of 9 drawings, all of them in portrait format, double the size of the series of smaller drawings, which feature various functional types of buildings: industrial buildings, worship buildings, and buildings to house people. An additional tenth drawing, which is again twice the size of the other nine drawings, features a house that was long falsely believed to be the birth house of Lucas Cranach the elder.
Germanic house researchers found the spirit of the mixed wooded region of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation covering basically all of Central Europe adequately expressed in the originally oak- based, half-timbered houses which emerged in the middle ages out of even older forms of wooden dwellings. An acquaintance of mine perceived upon first seeing some of my drawings of timber-framed houses in the Franconian or Alemannic style a hateful and horrible sensation, doubtlessly because they hold associations of Germanic evil. My mother feels disquieted by the meaningless crystals floating through the sky of these drawings (in my mind, they are technological placentas, feeding the uteral housings, while the various metal objects are mere drops of sperm). According to the teaching that all worldly things ought to be seen as empty, it would not be wise to amplify on the psychological symbolism contained in my drawings. The idea of making up fables to suit the imagery is more truthful to their meaning. Or to see them simply as images made up by one mind to be enjoyed by other minds.
There is one central aspect which I would like to share: exactly the quality of certain houses to evoke a spirit, their malevolent power to store and maintain the atmosphere of bygone times, the fact that one sometimes finds dead mummified cats or more mysterious creatures in hidden partitions, these evil qualities which stand in a stark contrast to their life nurturing and restoring function as a quasi-womb, makes them so unique, so powerful and mind-boggling.
The buildings in this exhibition are situated in a place which is not of this earth. It is situated on a planet of the star in Cassiopeia, which Tycho Brahe discovered, and which disappeared suddenly, the star on which Poe located his “Al Araaf”. This place radiates the deep peace and the beauty which flourish in places where nothing and nobody bids us welcome. The evil spirit shall be banished. Here there are Dianetics Centers, Objectivist Circles, General Semantics Clubs, Schools for Nexialism, here the Space Crystals regularly transmit over relay stations the test melody,
“Es, es, es und es, / es ist ein harter Schluss, / weil, weil, und weil, / weil ich aus Frankfurt muss!”