The Modern Man’s Carriage

Goethe, Adenauer and Gröting. Three very different people born in very different times, whose methods of transport are parked at Carlier I Gebauer for the exhibition “The travelling carriage of Goethe the Mercedes of Adenauer and my smart”. The undersides of the vehicles on display offer a mechanic’s view of the car. The function, work and power of each vehicle can be seen and the viewer is taken on a trip through the development of technology. From the basic and bulky carriage, useless without its horse to the compact modern man’s carriage that is the smart. You can’t help but notice the transforming shape, increasing complexity and shrinking size of the vehicles as they modernize.

The wonderful world of technology

It’s not the showy exterior of the car that can be seen but the ugly underside that only has a practical use but is the most important part. It’s also interesting to see a side of the car that you rely on but never see. Like me other viewers were getting close to the direct mould of the smart car, seeing it up close and probably wondering how she managed to flip the car over and make the mould? This is how she made the majority of the smart car sculpture. The carriage, although the most simple design, cannot be made from a mould and seems to have required more work to create. To me this says technology is easy and characterless with cars being churned out every second, whereas it would take a pretty long time, care and real craftsmanship to create a carriage fit for Goethe.

Silicon Lovers

I can’t quite grasp the connection between the sculptures of people in the next room to the sculptures of the carriage and cars other than the fact that people are connected to vehicles. People are the reason, inventors and user of vehicles. People are also connected to one another and this room seems very much to be about human links. Four bronze people appear connected in a circle, heads touching arms joined, very much together. A tight-knit team or family with strong bonds made of strong bronze. Two Lovers also appear connected but not so tightly. The silicon torsos are connected by their genitals but no other part touches and the material they are made of is strong but flexible. A comment on the different types of relationships between people?
Joined at the hip! Photo: courtesy of carlier | gebauer 

Happy feet

Back on the streets where the roads are full of functioning cars I am reminded that I am transportless and have to rely on good old foot-power to get me around! There are loads of other galleries in this area so I head off on foot down the road more than happy to depend on my feet and it’s not long before I find Galerie Barbara Thumm!


  •  Carlier I Gebauer Asta Gröting – “The travelling carriage of Goethe the Mercedes of Adenauer and my smart” March 3rd – April 14th 2012, Tue-Sat: 11am-6pm