Liz Cohen: Trabantimino by Liza Béar

Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

Trabantimino, eight years in the making and completed just one hour before its October 7th opening at Salon 94, displays bravura mechanics, a whiff of nostalgia and a sense of humor. Liz Cohen took to task three aspects of car culture: ownership, fabrication and marketing.

Combining design features of two defunct models that represent different cultures— the East German Trabant and the Chevy El Camino truck— Cohen learned mechanical engineering from mentors at World Wide Customs, Oakland; Elwood Bodyworks, Scottsdale, Arizona; and Kustom Creations, Detroit. In a parody of marketing protocol, Cohen doubled up as pin-up girl, striking humorous poses for automotive shows.

The current exhibit, which marks the reopening of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s Salon 94 at 243 Bowery, includes a wall of black and white photographs of tools used to make the hybrid vehicle, and pin-up prints and ephemera. This mini-doc was filmed and edited by Liza Béar at the opening and on the following day.

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