Matter as Meaning
Prova Car, 1967
Prova-Car is a sort of human, poetic version of the Formula-1 racing car. It conjures up images of old, once revolutionary technological prototypes. With works like this Prova-Car, Panamarenko refers to the image of the engineer-artist. At the same time, he relativises the image. Of course, Panamarenko’s ‘inventions’ are not intended to actually work: they are artworks first and foremost. In Panamarenko’s work, technique is a slave to poetry.
"Nuvolari was the best racecar driver in the world before the war. He just floored it, never braked. I remember how he wore a kind of pilot's headgear seated in his big 'prova', his test car. (...) After WWII the Formula 1 cars got too fast, and then he indeed had to brake." - Panamarenko