Engineered to go to Sea

Pan am foto 0935


In the 1990s, Panamarenko explored the mysteries of the sea. He devised craft and equipment to dive more rapidly and to float with greater stability. However functional and ingenious this work is, aesthetics and adventure still came first and foremost. The first real water device was a sophisticated diving suit, intended for walking over the gentle slopes of the seabed. Panamarenko tested The Portuguese Man of War on the Maldives in 1990, as can be seen in the colour picture that completes this installation. To gauge the depth of the sea, in 1992 he designed the Grote elleboog (Big Elbow), his first deep-sea diving device. The Monocedo is a helicopter which, thanks to two floats, can take off and land anywhere. On a metal axle between the two floats is a wooden seat for the pilot. In 1999 several lines of research came together: Panamarenko built an imposing flying boat on 8 elongated floats and powered by aircraft engines. This, the Scotch Gambit, was his biggest creation, and was based on two sketches from his early years (dated 1966 and 1970).


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