Object, 63 x 58 x 141 cm.
Materials: wood, metal, plastic

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK006151).

Panamarenko wants to reach the heavens, the sun and the stars, not in a rocket but in a machine of human scale. For this he develops a new range of utterly light and near-soundless motors. He calls them ‘soft engines’. The Pastille-Motor is the reduced version of the giant airplane engine that the artist developed for his Backpack Aircraft (1984). The metal motor, cylinder and other components are at standstill. The table serves as pedestal and the machine becomes sculpture. The functionality of this sort of craft lies not in its efficiency, but rather in the possibilities it offers visitors to enter into the artist’s world. His inventions are not (necessarily) utilitarian. They are inventions in the 19th-century sense: strongly bound to the power of imagination. The suggestion that this motor might make it possible to fly, as Icarus dreamt of, is of much greater importance than the question of whether or not it would actually work. An ‘invention’ by Panamarenko contains adventure. The process of exploration and discovery is of more consequence than the final result.

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