Model of Prova-car from ‘67


10 December 1967

Object, wood, aluminium, tin, foam and mica. 13 x 40 x 28 cm. Courtesy: Deweer Gallery, Otegem

“My projects are not exactly ideas, nor dreams. It isn’t a question of making a plane but of exactly producing something that is an ideal. It’s enjoyable, even if I never actually fly it. For me, its success lies in the realization of the dream, and it is strangely tied to failure. If one is more scientific, more rational, one loses the ideal nature of the form, and the object becomes simply a demonstration, a functioning proof. I could say: ‘You are all mad for thinking that my objects cannot function because they are made by a naïf.’ That isn’t the problem: it’s a miracle if the object works, but it would be even more perfect if it didn’t. The objective is then completed within the strict confines of the dream.”

That is what Panamarenko has to say in relation with his inventions, prototypes and researches. As if he were a Leonardo da Vinci reincarnated at the peak of the era of technological development, with a visionary attitude, Panamarenko challenges the limits and conventional parameters for the rationality and productivity of our times. His works embody the technological dream confronted by its very own nature, its free evolution and right to failure, beyond the feasibility or performance studies proper to industry. He seems to be reminding us that the future has always been located on the shore of dreams and ideals.