Museum Practice


Panamarenko Universum is the grand and one-time return of Panamarenko to his hometown of Antwerp. Almost ten years after the retrospective at the KMSK in Brussels, M HKA devotes a unique retrospective to the work of Panamarenko.

Panamarenko (1940) is an artist, an inventor, technician, mathematician, philosopher and visionary. And all at the same time. He makes hovering constructions, flying rucksacks, helicopters with pedals, airships, maybeetles, submarines and walking chickens. He organises happenings in Antwerp. He devises a mechanism for the movement of an insect’s wings even before scientists discover it. He formulates a credible concept for steering spaceships. In 2005, on his sixty-fifth birthday, he announces the end of his artistic career. The fax is as concise as it is unexpected: ‘It is 2005 and I am 65. I am ceasing all activities. Kind regards. Panamarenko’

Panamarenko is at the heart of the image of art presented by the M HKA, which has its foundations in the avant-garde of the 1960s. Panamarenko Universum shows how and why the artist developed into an icon of this post-war European avant-garde. At least forty key works are supplemented by drawings, objects, models and editions. In addition, there is also a focus on Panamarenko’s 1960s happenings, his scientific insights and his artistic statements. For the first time, a thematic and chronological structure will be given to the abundance of craft and devices that Panamarenko made between 1965 and 2005. In each cluster a particular aspect of the artist is highlighted in a cloud of thoughts. A striking characteristic or fascination that deeply influenced his work is thus revealed. Panamarenko Univerum presents a clear and yet varied picture of his unique oeuvre.

The exhibition is on view at M HKA from 3 October 2014 til 29 March 2015

Credits Thanks to: Panamarenko, Bart De Baere, Didier Coulon, Hans Willemse
Direction, camera & editing: Mario De Munck
Interviews: Mario De Munck
Coordination: Ghislaine Peeters
Music: Ewa Demianiuk, Fabian Measures
Subtitles: Mario De Munck


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