Happenings & Collages



Panamarenko’s career started in the 1960s as the inspirer of several happenings, playful street performances that he orchestrated in the centre of Antwerp.

Happenings are not restricted to a single artistic discipline. They take place in small spaces, in the open air and sometimes even in several places at the same time. The underlying principle of a happening is not so much art as life itself. Since it focuses on human action, and chance plays a major role, the outcome is not usually known in advance. In the wake of May ’68, Panamarenko, Hugo Heyrman and others set up the Vrije Aktiegroep Antwerpen (VAGA, ‘Antwerp Free Action Group’). This was an informal group of individuals who raised difficult social and ecological issues. One of its aims was to proclaim the Conscienceplein in Antwerp a car-free zone. Panamarenko had the idea of stacking blocks of ice in the form of a cube so that they froze to the ground and formed a natural barrier to traffic. This ‘ice-block action’ was a success, because the city council finally gave way and banned cars from the square.


Items View all

Actors View all