V1 Barada Jet



Object, 105 x 250 x 308 cm .
Materials: metal, balsa, felt

Collection: Collection Deweer Gallery, Otegem.

This object presents a wooden jet aircraft with short, solid wings.  At the back of the fuselage, Panamarenko mounted a classic reaction engine that has the appearance of a German V1.

The fuselage and cockpit are the same as that of the Helicopter Sir George Cayley from 1972, which exists only as a drawing and silkscreen print.  It was only in 1992 that Panamarenko elaborated this helicopter's hull in balsa wood and used it as the cockpit for his Barada Jet.  This jet aircraft powered by a 'flying bomb' harks back to the artist's childhood memory during WWII.

I was four years old and with my mother at the market in Deurne, on the Lakborslei right near the church.  Across the street were houses, with all sorts of market stalls in front.  I was just looking around when I saw a small aircraft approach, far away above the street.  All at once its motor cut out and it started its silent descent.  For a few seconds it spun on its own axis.  I was still watching it come down while everybody hit the street for cover.  Then the V1 started to shake, and each time it rose and fell, a red jet flame blew from its tail.  You heard it get close, brbrbrrrr ... , and the made a turn, brbrbrrrr ... , and then it looked like it was coming straight at us, that little V1, with a black cross on its back and red flames spewing out.  It hummed and growled, something terrible!  Remember, there were five-hundred kilos of heavy explosive inside!  At last, it rocked a few more times, brbrbrrrr ... , and roared just past the church tower, brbrbrrr ... , just above the houses until BAF!, and it came down a bit further off on a plot of no-man's-land and left an enormous crater!  Windows all over Deurne shattered!  And everyone who'd gotten up from the ground a little early, hit the decks again with that big crash.

The name 'Barada' finds its origin in the 1951 Sci-Fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Robert Wise. 

(source: Hans Willemse en Paul Morrens, in: 'Copyright Panamarenko', 2005)

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