GUIDED TOUR OF THE EXHIBITION WITH URS STAHEL



Curated by Luce Lebart in collaboration with Urs Stahel, Inventions shows photographs of the most ingenious and surprising inventions taken from the collections of Archive of Modern Conflict (London) and Archives nationales (France).
These many inventions were produced and photographed in France between the two World Wars at the Office of Inventions on the initiative of Jules-Louis Breton, Director of Inventions. Breton sought to promote scientific and industrial research with the aim of accelerating its processes and guaranteeing the swift transformation of an idea into an object or a machine for ready use, actively favoring the collaboration between manufacturers, scientists and inventors. Images alongside detailed descriptions of inventions facilitated the evaluation of projects and helped tracked progress. A viable alternative to prototypes, they were easy to keep on file and readily available for presentation to committees.
The exhibition reflects the great diversity of inventions featured in Breton's archive, ranging from objects used to survive in times of crisis to the gadgets used to live a higher quality of life during peaceful periods. Even if produced without artistic intentions, the photographs have undeniable aesthetic qualities and own what could be defined as a photographic style, comparable to that of an author, even if they aren't signed. 

 


Ph. courtesy of Archives nationales, France



 

Turret for bird and aircraft observation by Jules-Louis Breton and Paul Breton. October 10, 1930

Turret for bird and aircraft observation by Jules-Louis Breton and Paul Breton. October 10, 1930

Horse gas mask, 1917-1918

Horse gas mask, 1917-1918

Mr. Caufer’s crawler, 1917-1918

Mr. Caufer’s crawler, 1917-1918

Le Théâtre de la prise de vue, 1917-1918

Le Théâtre de la prise de vue, 1917-1918

Listening device for ground surveillance, 1917-1918

Listening device for ground surveillance, 1917-1918

Jules-Louis Breton’s dishwashing machine, 1923

Jules-Louis Breton’s dishwashing machine, 1923