Sac à dos à moteur
Luc Mattenberger’s Sac à dos à moteur (Backpack with Engine, 2007) arouses curiosity. At first glance, it looks like it could be used for mowing the lawn, trimming hedges or clearing away dead leaves – or else, along totally different lines, for propelling someone skywards like a novice astronaut. Yet, since it drives no “useful” machine, it serves none of these purposes. Nor can it be qualified as the sort of “useless” object that the art world could label simply as sculpture. Indeed, this two-stroke engine runs – that is, produces noise, a smell and stains. As a portable contraption that uses fuel and pollutes for nothing but its own sake, this object is incorrect both ecologically and politically. Moreover, from an artistic point of view, it suggests a position as disturbing as it is radical with respect to the status of sculpture, (non-) performance and viewer participation.
Excerpt from a text by Jean-Paul Felley & Olivier Kaeser, Luc Mattenberger – The Toxic Poetics of Petrol Engines