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Liz Cohen's Trabantimino Premieres at Salon 94 Bowery

October 1, 2010

Trabantimino Salon 94 Bowery New York, NY October 7 – November 11 Opening Reception October 7, 6:00pm 2005 Visual Arts grantee Liz Cohen premieres her Creative Capital project, BODYWORK, this week at Salon 94 Bowery in New York with Trabantimino, an exhibition of the vehicle Cohen has spent eight years transforming. BODYWORK is a combination performance and sculpture project that investigates the American desire for acceptance, the creation of identity and the requirements for group membership. The Trabantimino is an amalgam of two different now-defunct Cold War era types: the East German “people’s car,” the Trabant—humble, anonymous and functional—and the all-American, large-bodied, low-rider cowboy car, the Chevrolet El Camino. The sculpture contains roughly equal parts of both cars; it’s main frame is a modest Trabant beige, but the vehicle then extends out to 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 in California, Arizona and Michigan, 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. Alongside the car, Salon 94 Bowery will show a series of photographs by Cohen called the 5 P’s (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) from 2005, in which Cohen documented every tool amassed by her original mentor, Bill Cherry, throughout his thirty-plus years as a mechanic. The exhibition also includes the ephemera and various publications featuring the Trabantimino, from inception to display. Back to Listing