Letatin in a Cage


Letatin in a Cage, 2002, wood, metal, leather, 250 x 500 x 700 cm


6. s†l _R5A3257 web


A proposal for the merger of the Letatlin and Tleskač’s flying bicycle. Both of these projects have much in common. For example, the reason for their creation was to escape from the totalitarian lack of freedom by one’s own forces. The combination of the perfectly engineered glider Letatlin with the mechanics of a flying bicycle will increase the efficiency of flight.

The author of the Letatlin, Vladimir Tatlin, was a Soviet painter, sculptor, architect, stage designer and industrial designer, one of the founders of Constructivism. The Letatlin is a glider, the construction of which Tatlin developed from 1929 to 1932. He was probably inspired by flying machines of Leonardo da Vinci. Tatlin had the ambition to create a device on which a man could fly by his own forces, i.e., without the help of an engine.

He strived for liberation of man in harmony with nature. His achievement was later seen as an attempt to liberate Russian man from the Stalinist grip. The idea of Jan Tleskač’s flying bicycle probably came from Jaroslav Foglar, writer of literature for young people. Jan Tleskač is a fictional character from his book “The Mystery of the Conundrum”. Tleskač was found as an orphan sitting in the street. He was holding a mechanical puzzle “Hedgehog in the Cage”. Inside the body of the Hedgehog there was a hidden plan of a flying bicycle. Tleskač died on Saturday, 21 October 1913, from a fall from the bell tower of St. James’s Church in St.nadla (Shadow District). Foglar published the book “The Mystery of the Conundrum” in 1940.

The flying bicycle was a means for Tleskač to break free from the anxious grip of the Shadow District and a hope to escape the fascist threat for Foglar. I present a theory that the original author of the bicycle was Leonardo da Vinci, and that the Hedgehog in the Cage was inspired by his conundrum as well. This archaic puzzle originally consisted of a folding cross inserted into a small frame reminiscent of a rectangular ring. It was an inspiration for the first known model of the puzzle “Hedgehog in the Cage”, patented by the American inventor Clarence A. Worrall in 1896.



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6. s†l _R5A3562
6. s†l _R5A3254