But I finally glimpsed the secret party, I heard the tiny minuets, I overheard the complicated intrigues happening in the cabinet.
– Charles Cros
Oh! Precious little Lilo! As a child, this is certainly the toy that captivated me the most. Yes, because it is adorable, but mostly because it could move. Of course, it wasn’t the only toy that could move – my little sister had a RC car which, i guess, was certainly more impressive. But Lilo had something special. By turning the little key on his chest, we could hear the discrete mechanism inside of him. Sometimes, my sisters and I would inadvertently drop the poor bird and he would end up on the floor, his tiny metallic organs surrounding him. It was an horrible scene. We had to quickly start emergency procedures which would bring him back to life.
Eventually we had to stop playing. We placed him back in the cupboard (little Lilo had a special place just for him in the cabinet) and closed the door. And then, a few minutes later, when we had forgotten about him, he had a little jump which could be heard even behind the closed door. He still wanted to play. Mechanical toys have this poetic effect : they are, somehow, alive.
Indeed, this is what inspires Objets Mécaniques – we are interested in the life that lies within each of everyday objects. We see in these objects, from the most banal to the most original, an inspiring wealth that goes beyond their obvious utilitarian virtues. These household items are a witness of social and cultural habits and despite their apparent mutism, they are full of life. If you listen carefully, you will hear them whisper, quietly …
So, what is mechanical about our objects? For those born with an unshakable rationality, absolutely nothing. For those who dream, those who kept their child’s heart, everything.
– Ariane O. P.