Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Modern art and efficiency in all of its Swiss glory - the Nordportal Schimpfmaschine!

There is no lack of amazing art in Europe.  It's everywhere from the street performers to dauntingly filled museums to publicly commissioned pieces.  And I hate to admit it, but Nick and I have become total art snobs.  We say insufferable things such as, "Do you find that Turner overstepped his station by choosing not to paint the Kornhaus in his depiction of the city?" "Really, dear, I was too distracted by the appalling overuse of poop brown to notice!" "Wouldn't Freud just have a happy Christmas morn with that tidbit?!" Enter smug, high-society, jeering laugh here.

In all serious though, I have been blown away by inspiring and groundbreaking works from Dali, Kandinsky, Gaudi, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Gauguin - you name it. I'm a damn lucky girl.  But sometimes I just have to unapologetically dig down into my rough-around-the-edges roots and admit that occasionally my taste in art gears toward the earthier, grittier side.

And who knew I would find a gem on a stroll through Baden?  Tucked way back by the more modern side of this little Hamlet, nestled between engineering industries and trade schools, just outside of the entrance to the Nordportal cultural event hall is just what I have been waiting for.  Even locals that have lived here for years are sometimes totally unaware of its existence...or they are ignoring it.

I present to you the fabulous brainchild of Marc Covo and Beat Gloor - the Schimpfmaschine!

Just a little German for your day:

schimpfen: to curse, rant, badmouth, admonish, rail against or just plain verbally abuse someone/thing 
die Maschine: machine

= a good laugh

This piece of art is literally a curse generator.  There is a ticker panel next to the door and a little red button.  Just the kind that begs to be pushed.

As soon as the button is pushed, fantastical wordy magic happens.  Whirring and clicking away, the sections of the panel begin to flip through thousands of naughty word combinations until it finally produces a special, just-for-you bombshell.

hemmungslos lausiger verschütt knallkopf
unscrupulous lousy sloppy silly ass

grausam durchgeknallter latzhose mister schweiz
cruel maniac bib-overalled Mr. Switzerland

hundertprozentig glupschäugiger nachtopf böög
one hundred percent bulgy-eyed pisspot boogeyman

Of course, when I found it, I had just pushed the button for about the hundredth time when my German teacher happened to come around the corner with a fresh batch of new-to-Switzerland kids joining the nearby school.  She gave me a wagging finger and reminded me that I had much better methods at my disposal to enrich my German vocabulary and introduced me, with a wink, to the group as one of her cheeky American students. Caught red-handed again.

Maybe just one more push...

knallhart mickriger faulig pimpf
ruthless vile lazy pimp

Wanna try it out yourself?  There's an online version: