Des jouets et des hommes

This site has all the press kit that I had the enormous privilege of receiving for the occasion of this very important and rare event. The visuals are high quality for which a site like Poupendol is important, but the content and presentation of this exhibition of 38 pages, no less, shows the important work has been done for the occasion by its unpublished scope, its subject matter from ancient times to today. A very large catalog you will not fail to acquire some during your visit will tell you more and better than I can do. It is truly an event to be recommended !
 Go ahead and of course let your curiosity and ingenuity to power! They will do wonders!

 Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower Paris 8°
Métro Champs-Elysées - Clemenceau, RER C Invalides

This exhibition, the first devoted to the story of toys from antiquity to the present day, includes magnificent achievements (princely toys, custom cars, luxury doll houses) as smaller objects (figurines, rattles, etc.).
Pierrick Sorin, video artist known for his comic creations achieved is an inventive stage design with entertainment features and facilities that encourage interaction and delight the imagination.
In an amazing blend of tradition and innovation, nearly a thousand toys, mostly Western and Japanese are exposed. In a society with respect to the object and its ownership is almost as important as the relationship with people, all these toys invite the public to a journey into the heart of intimacy. Thousand toys from antiquity to the present, in this exhibition.
This is an exceptional collection and totally unprecedented in its scale and ambition: antique dolls, dolls princely dolls of our time, trains, planes, boats, bears of all kinds, almost living machines, video games warriors, figurines made of lead or plastic saucers, Noah's arks and even a Santa Claus on a plane!

Animaux de la ferme

Créateur : Benjamin Rabier   Fabricants : Passerat et Radiguet     Bois découpé peint   H. de 11 à 24 cm ; L. de 9 à 24 cm ; l. de 2 à 4 cm
  Vers 1910   Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris    © Michel Pintado pour les Arts décoratifs, Paris

Poupée «parisienne»
Vers 1820
Carton moulé, verre, peau, soie, peuplier
Poupée : H. 83 cm
Boîte : H. 100 cm
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris
© Jean Tholance pour les Arts Décoratifs, Paris
Between imitation and imagination

 This exhibition, "Toys and men", is a story of toys and highlights its importance in the education of man since birth. The exhibition examines the ambiguous relationship that children have with the reproduction in miniature of the great world. How they captured this reality at their level, always designed by adults? How the archetypes that are dolls, cars or figurines of war they evolve at different times? What are hotlines for mimicry and ruptures in history? Do we always dreamed of becoming a firefighter or woman teacher ? So many questions about the toy - not the game, which involves rules - which the exhibition attempts to give scientific answers yet sensitive.

In collaboration with the  Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts), which houses one of the largest collections of toys in Europe, other French and international cultural institutions including the prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Toy Museum in Nuremberg or in the Strong Rochester USA), and many European private collections brought together many objects.

They are mass-produced or well-known artists like Alexander Calder, Felix Garcia Torres and Benjamin Rabier, whether exceptional or washed up on the carpet for children's rooms, these toys tell us about the world, its evolution, its history, often shifted or mimicry confusing. A large and varied illustrations - paintings, posters, sculptures, films, video games, music videos, catalogs Christmas bonus - the full panorama.

Antique dolls, dolls princes, trains, planes, boats, bears of all kinds, almost living machines, video games warriors, figurines made of lead or plastic saucers, Noah's Ark: a thousand toys including Western, exceptional or common, are gathered here to tell a story of more than two thousand years, made up of wonder and nostalgia, but also lessons and questions.

Beyond its core function of entertainment, toy shows the relationship that adults have with children, how they want to prepare for the future and society.

It is an object of immense symbolic richness, astonishing balance between reality and illusion, synonymous with carefree innocence. Given in circumstances virtually unchanged since ancient times, we must give it up one day, otherwise they will not grow quite.

Until the late eighteenth century, Christmas Day commemorates the Nativity in Christianity and toys are given on the day of the year for gifts, in continuation of the Roman and pagan customs. The child Jesus, who should have been imposed in the role of benefactor of children, was replaced, first by Saint Nicolas, celebrated on December 6 even now in Alsace, then Santa Claus, whose face is fixed America in the 1830s from European history, and whose ritual has continued to this day.

As for animals, children and cherish more than anything. By turns cuddly or dangerous animals have largely inspired the world of toy, always willing to offer alternatives to the small wooden, plush, plastic ... The first traces of animals fitted with wheels date back to antiquity. The horse, buffalo, ram, and the bird are made of wood, terracotta, clay, ivory or marble, in civilizations as Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Egyptian or Middle Eastern that. Today, these toys populate children's rooms.

 Some of them have even attained the status of star!

Fabricant : Vénus
Vers 1955
Rhodoïd, tissu, plastique
H. 34 cm
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris 
© Jean Tholance pour les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

The Illusion of Life: automata, mechanical toys, robots

Without external intervention, any toy is a priori inert. It needs a child to come to life. However, there are toys on the edge of this definition: the controller, and its modern avatars, the mechanical toy and the robot. The controller is paradoxically the archetype of the toy. It has been and the game itself and it focuses much of the mystery of childhood. As such, he also delights adults. This curious animated object that enchants a nineteenth century industrial production of timepieces allows them to multiply in specialized factories such as those by Gustave Vichy, Roullet Decamps, and many others. Mechanical toys benefit from these advances and the advent of techniques of sheet metal stamping.

Poupée nageuse Polly
Fabricant : Bergamini
Poupée : L. 13 cm ; l. 5 cm - Boîte : H. 5 cm ; L. 15
cm ; l. 5 cm
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris 
© Jean Tholance pour les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

 In the late nineteenth century reveal a multitude of animated toys cheap. All the universes are then broken down: the circus, crafts, animals, music, means of locomotion. The manufacturers are primarily French and German: Fernand Martin, Charles Rossignol, Ernst Paul Lehmann, and U.S. in the 1930s, with manufacturers or Wolverine Louis Marx. The 1950s are those of science fiction and the emergence of Japanese robots. In the 1970s, the computer overrides almost robot. Robosapien, created in 2004 by physicist Mark Tilden WowWee for the brand, could herald a long series of intelligent creatures that will give us even more the illusion of life.

Le Hohenzollern
Fabricant :
 Gebrüder Bing
début du XXe siècle
H. 42,5 cm (avec socle) ; L. 65 cm ; l. 14 cm
Musée national de la Marine, Paris
© Musée national de la Marine / A. Fux


G.I. Joe Marine en tenue de combat

Fabricant : Hasbro (Etats-Unis)
Vinyle, plastique dur, textile
H. 29 cm 
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris
© Jean Tholance pour les Arts Décoratifs, Paris
Should we do away with war toys? This question arises only recently. From antiquity to the present, they existed. Long, and from an early age, nobles and princes were trained in the art of war. In the simulation war, the key is the contrast between two camps. Antagonisms of war games based on evolving long history. This is evident in Europe with the conflict between French and Prussians in 1870, then with the Great War and World War II. Finally, the American GI Joe action figure, Hasbro created by the company in 1964, is the most famous representation. If the toy soldier is now a subject of controversy, one can also think, with Umberto Eco, it is a necessary outlet : playing war,
"You free yourself from your cravings, to suppress all you in you, and you will be ready to receive other messages, which have the purpose or death or destruction. "( Letter to my son in Pastiches and Postiches).

Cheval mécanique du Prince Impérial  (Mechanical horse of the Prince Imperial) 
 Vers 1862-1865   Allier fils et Cie, maître bronzier   Bois sculpté, peau de poulain, crin, bronze doré, ivoire, cuir, velours de soie brodé
 H. 75 cm ; L. 88 cm ; l. 56 cm      Collection E. Hermès, Paris.

                                                                          Give up his toys

 Children do not know one day they will leave their toys to grow. The ancient Greeks and Romans had planned to serve the tricky ritual of renunciation by: Roman boys, playing with nuts, had to "take off" as the saying goes saying they had become grown-ups . The girls were on their side to their dolls to Venus on the eve of their wedding. It organizes more so now as this ritual passage, as if the venerated Children and Youth developed reluctant to leave. Do not believe in Santa Claus has become the first step to grow, the first disappointment. In recent years, the countless garage sales returning to the commercial dimension of the toy by involving parents and children. This solemn little ceremony might suggest that our time has removed this difficulty, but their success with many visitors in search of the toy is significant.

Automate du Père Noël en avion
Fabricant : Roullet-Decamps
Automate électrique
Bois, métal, textile, fourrure 
H. 125 ; L. 260 ; l. env. 273 cm 
Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris
© Jean Tholance pour les Arts Décoratifs, Paris

Thoughts and proposals
For scenography Pierrick Sorin, artistic director.
The toy is first and foremost fun. Visual pleasure, first, closely tied to a representation of reality shifted where miniaturization is authoritative. Pleasure of touch, sometimes hearing. Pleasure of handling constructive or destructive actions. Pleased to sudden movements, sensual, controlled, repetitive ... In an exhibition on the toy, it is expected, among other things, it reflects a little bit these pleasures manifold. But it's not that simple. Operating constraints of an exhibition, concern for the protection, conservation of objects, which often induce limits contradict fun. Despite these limitations, breathe in the exhibition of the movement, creating moments of fun, lively and fun moments, those are my main objectives. As an artist-filmmaker is of course to solutions or "inventions" based on the use of moving images that I will turn. Of course, the use of turning on the window of a vast majority of objects is inevitable. Therefore, "do with" the body of the window, work on form for an accomplice of some constructions fun is what appears to be "the" solution. My experience in sets of mirrors (optical theaters) married also pretty good with this kind of achievement which will be referred here to as "windows animated."


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