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PANAMARENKO « EXPERIMENTATION »

From 23 June to 25 September 1989

Experimentation is the key word for the entire artistic output of Panamarenko, so naturally this is the subject he has chosen to investigate in his exhibition at the Contemporary Creation Centre, Tours.

The latest experiment which Panamarenko has been working on for the last 2 years is the Rucksack and the motor to go in the Rucksack, enabling it to take off.

The three prototypes for Rucksack and the five motors presented here are works in their own right constituting steps in the artist’s development in what he names the ‘Journey to the stars’, a veritable aeronautical programme which is comparable in every way to a properly conducted scientific experiment.

There is a certain number of significant, historical pieces around this latest exhibition which illustrate Panamarenko’s work:

‘Prova Car’, 1967: this is a tin model of a sports or racing car, the first truly technical thing that Panamarenko put on show at the Wide White Space Gallery in Antwerp. Unlike the planes which were to be produced seven years later, this was just the external layer of an object and the aura surrounding it.

‘Delta Pi (Piewan) Plane’, 1975: Here the propulsion is provided by 20 small propellers powered by electric motors. There are two batteries providing the energy for the motors which are able to achieve speeds of 80 km per hour and keep the plane in the air for 10 minutes.

‘Helicopter’, 1973: with helicopters powered by humans, the challenge is to combine a minimum weight with maximum propulsion power and sufficient handling ability. Aerodynamic calculations, construction issues and choosing the right materials govern the creation of this type of work.

The two following pieces are part of the origins of ‘Journey to the Stars’. From the ‘Flying Cigar and ‘Plumbit’ (absent from this exhibition, but similar to ‘Cluster’), Panamarenko’s research is committed to two major paths: the collection of space’s magnetic fields as a source of propulsion for interstellar vehicles and the manufacture of machinery for developing a magnetic field capable of making aflying saucer take off:

‘Flying Cigar’ 1980: the Flying Cigars’, denotes explicitly Panamarenko’s new project: preparations for an interstellar journey.

‘Cluster’, 1986 : in ‘Plumbit’ and ‘Cluster’ the complex instrumental process of the mens of making this interstellar journey are put on display.