Panamarenko

Panamarenko - Magic (Flying) Carpet, 1979Magic (Flying) Carpet, 1979, (detail)
Stainless steel, wood, aluminium, 12V motors, nickel-cadmium batteries
390 x 233 x 15 cm
(c) Panamarenko

Detail

The dream of flying is the inspiration that drives concept artist Panamarenko (*1940 Antwerp, BE). Born Henri Van Herwegen, Panamarenko has been building flying contraptions since 1967, working at the point of intersection between invention, engineering and art. As an artist, he explores the fantasy of complete independence and absolute liberty evoked by flying. His work borrows from the industry-loving school of object art and is inspired by pop culture, particularly the science fiction movies of the 1950s and 1960s. In Panamarenko's work, the drive to mechanise movement and the dream of total autonomy from conventional infrastructure are overlaid with irony. Although his flying machines are all thoroughly thought-out and engineered, not to mention airworthy, most of them have never left the ground. And so it goes for "Flying Carpet", a piece commissioned by the EPO that captures the very essence of Panamarenko's work: despite all the inventiveness and engineering ingenuity poured into building an aircraft with propeller circuitry, cushions, a pilot grab hold, as well as an eject button for emergencies, the vision of individualised aviation still remains a pipedream.

Panamarenko - Magic (Flying) Carpet, 1979Magic (Flying) Carpet, 1979
Stainless steel, wood, aluminium, 12V motors, nickel-cadmium batteries
390 x 233 x 15 cm
Installation view



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