When the Milan Museum of Culture (MUDEC) asked Jaquet Droz to join its show “Robot. The Human Project” the company brought out Pierre Jaquet-Droz’s 250-year-old automatons.
Something magical happens when the past meets the present and dreams come true. That is why Jaquet Droz was asked to be part of a rare exhibition called “Robot - The Human Project” opening in Milan on December 3, 2020.
Why is the show such a rare treat? Because it will be one of the only shows in the world to chronicle our fascination with making androids come alive. From centuries-old automatons to our more recent robots, the vision of creating human-like mechanical “others” has never changed. Nor has the desire to make them seem as human as possible, from their facial expressions and movements to intelligence, which remains “artificial.”
Pierre Jaquet-Droz had the same vision 250 years ago when he crafted his first automatons. Shown in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1774, his piece “The Writer, The Draughtsman and The Musician” marked the historic turning point when automatons became androids. They also turned Jaquet-Droz into a legend among the royal courts throughout Europe. Even to this day, they serve as never-ending inspiration for the firm’s handcrafted timepieces.
MUDEC (Museo delle culture) included Jaquet Droz as a testament to its contribution to this epic journey. As part of its participation, Jaquet Droz granted permission to loan some of its most treasured automatons: a singing bird (1790), an animated birdcage (1780), a singing bird pocket watch (1785) and The Poet (2018).
Showing through March 28, 2021, “Robot – The Human Project” is equal parts fascination, inspiration, imagination and artistry in an interactive setting guaranteed to satisfy the curiosity of anyone interested in The Art of Astonishment, still showcased by Jaquet Droz to this day.
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