Collection: Workstation Biekorfstraat - Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. PAN-1103).
This aviator’s suit dates from the mid-1950s and is of American manufacture. The idea was to inflate the suit, to counteract the effect of low air pressure at high altitude. Panamarenko probably bought it at an American army surplus
store, and appeared with it for the first time at the “KYRPWWAWAX” happening in Ostend on 6 August 1965. Already presenting himself at this point as a ‘multimillionaire’, he then lent the suit to Hugo Heyrman for later happenings, as it fitted better with Heyrman’s utopian ‘happy space maker’ image. This is why the aviator’s suit became inextricably linked in the happening context with space flight, and would go down in history as the ‘spacesuit’.