Ken Gerberick - Visual Artist  


No Dogma... No Globalization... No Mundanes...

Dada Car - A Photoessay

It was a good car. It carried Ken far and wide--from Vancouver to San Francisco. It had once belonged to Ken's friends Peter [Lunar Suede] and Peggy, and though it had its idiosyncracies, it ran well, except when it didn't want to. And then, one day, when Ken was least expecting it, disaster struck. Disaster struck in the form of a car which pulled out in front of Ken, without warning. You know the drill: he didn't even have time to brake. Said Ken: "It was like a car fell out of the sky at me." There was a subsequent big bang. The cops said "Get it off the road." The day of the Dada Car had come to an unexpected, unforeseen end. Yes, that's Ken in the picture, in happier times. This photograph was taken by Philo Northrop, at Art Car Fest 2000, in the Bay Area.

Dada Car Stats
Miles driven: 5,000
Hubcaps applied: 100
The green stuff? Astroturf
License plates: 24
Art Car Fests: 3
Special Features: A farmstead built on the hood, containing dead hot rod in the creek, a couple of barns, and an Auburn Roadster in the field.
Length of time as an art car: 8 months


 The bent Dada Car, the day after the accident, November 3, 2000. The trophies on the grille are visible, as are the now crooked hubcaps and front fender, and the horn mounted on top. Fortunately Ken only suffered a sprained thumb in the accident (plus the shock of having something dear to his heart suddenly demolished). This last was apparently soothed by Ken's friend Alanna, who plied him with the demon rum until he at last was able To Forget, at least for a while. In the morning, the harsh light of reality: the car is officially a write-off. Negotiations begin with ICBC, the Insurance Company. Will they pay up? More to come... Difficulties with ICBC: "Trying to convince ICBC that the car was an art car, and that this made it special (and more valuable than your run of the mill '85 Celebrity Wagon)? It would have been easier to convince them that it was a banana, and edible."--Ken

 It was a sad, cold day when Ken went off to the impound yard, determined to salvage what he could. As you can see, it was a lot. Everything that had been glued or siliconed or screwed on came back off again; all that was left are a couple of strips of astroturf. Farewell, noble Dada Car! Ken took this last photograph of the Dada Car resting in state at the junkyard. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel--and its name was Insurance Payout. A new car was just over the horizon, and Ken was off and running, searching for that very special vehicle with art car potential (and about the right price range). To the guys at the ICBC holding yard: They helped to load the big bits into 12 Midnite's van, and were generally cooperative and helpful. Thanks! (Even though they really didn't understand why the stuff was on there in the first place or why Ken wanted it back...)

Sure, it doesn't look like much yet, but there is much more to come. The brand new MalIraq, once destined to be a taxi in Iraq, but which remained in Canada--why? Politics? Karma? At any rate, it was sold to Ken, bald tires, clutch worthy of some 30s behemoth vehicle in its stubbornness and difficulty to manage, and all. Another art car is shortly on the way....

As of this date--01.02.00--the fenders are red and the doors are white, and very lumpy with three-dimensional things, incuding 50 license plates (they're small, says Ken), lego, a few hubcaps, and miscellaneous rubble.

Meet the MalIraq

Plans for the MalIraq
Involve the attachment of license plates to the fenders, plus an attractive colour scheme so far consisting of red and white.

Unusual features: Heavy duty everything, including air conditioning (not usual here on the West Coast of Canada); rear windows permanently sealed; 3-speed truck transmission with a 40-pound clutch