Black Box. A Cabinet of Robotic Curiosities
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The Vitra Campus has a new exhibition space: in one of the houses at the southern entrance, a Black Box has been installed which holds the collection of international toy robots belonging to Vitra Chairman Emeritus Rolf Fehlbaum. The presentation encompasses robots and figures of astronauts from the years 1937 to 1968. Many of them bear witness to the technological optimism of an age, when robotics and space travel were still largely fiction. Some of the selected objects are shown with the original packaging, which is often no less spectacular than the artefacts themselves. A number of the robots are seen in motion on video screens, while others are exhibited on turntable displays. The staging of the objects draws the viewer into a dark, minimalist dream world. The exhibition was conceived in collaboration with Fifo Stricker, Rolf Fehlbaum’s friend and fellow collector. Dieter Thiel designed the architecture of the Black Box, and the scenography was developed together with French designer Ronan Bouroullec. The ticket costs € 7, and visitors can view the collection as part of a public guided tour.
Non Stop Lavender Robot, Masudaya, Japan, 1960, 38 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Target Robot, Masudaya, Japan, 1965, 38 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Mr. Atomic, Yonezawa, Japan, 1962, 23 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Susie Robette, The Metalware Corp., USA, 1957, 28 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Smoking Robot, Yonezawa, Japan, 1963, 30 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Space Elephant, Yoshiya, Japan, 1960, 21 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Space Elephant, Yoshiya, Japan, 1960, 21 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Space Kiddy, M, Japan, c. 1960, 18 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Dux Astroman, Dux, West Germany, 1959, 33 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Nando, Opset, Italy, ca. 1950, 13 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Robot Liliput, KT, Japan, 1937, 15 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Telephone Robot, Yonezawa, Japan, c. 1963, 24 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Magic Space Dog, Yoshiya, Japan, 1958, 15 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Giant Non Stop Machine Man, Masudaya, Japan, c. 1962, 38 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Magic Space Dog, Yoshiya, Japan, 1958, 15 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Space Robot, Nomura, Japan, 1970, 30 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Mechanical Walking Robot, oneya, Japan, ca. 1965, 10 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
Space Robot, Nomura, Japan, 1970, 30 cm, collection Rolf Fehlbaum, Photo: Moritz Herzog
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