Les Important Bagatelles de Mimi Berlin


The ‘Important Bagatelles de Mimi Berlin‘, or ‘Toys for Girls‘ is a series of statuettes made with (hard-)plastic in pastel colors. Unique artworks which are prototypes for dual function toys; games, puzzles, water-features, shaken idiophones, music boxes and portraits. The Toys for Girls are supposed to stimulate the human senses, so some of them can be picked-up to actually play with.


Important Bagatelles

At first site the ‘Important Bagatelles de Mimi Berlin‘ seem to be unpretentious objects, fast compositions, even trifle maybe. True; the statuettes are light in style and have a very mellow character, they are bagatelles.
The important part lies in the fact that they are carefully made as a source of stimulation, not only to stimulate basic human senses, (touch, sight, hearing, smell) but also for coding this sensory information through light, balance, movement, coordination and pressure into a state of body awareness and, ideally into lust, which is a very interesting sensation, according to Mimi Berlin. Ms Berlin thinks it’s important to find beauty in the smaller pleasures in life; like getting your basic feelings trigged.

Toys for Girls

Mimi Berlin dedicated this series to Mother Nature; using no natural materials whatsoever, cleaning up the globe by using discarded plastic and glass. Keeping things positive in the age of the ‘plastic soup’ by celebrating the 19th century inventions of hard-plastics like bakelite and celluloid. Finding the the beauty in perspex, rubber, and other non-biodegradable plastics in so-called “feminine” pastel colors. Remember, this series of statuettes is dedicated to Mother Nature, not Father Nature.

Château de Bagatelle

Ideally we would like to show the statuettes at the Château de Bagatelle at Bois the Boulongne in Paris.
This neoclassical castle, built in 1720, is a so-called pleasure palace/maison de plaisance/lustschloss intended for short stays while hunting and party-ing. The castle is painted soft-pink and has the following poem inscripted at the front entrance:

“Small is my humble roof, but well designed,
To suit the temper of the master’s mind;
Hurtful to none, it boasts a decent pride,
That my poor purse the modest cost supplied.”

Flowers & Games

Mimi Berlin is also inspired by the agricultural areas at Château de Bagatelle, named the ‘Rose Test Gardens’, the annual ‘Concours International de Roses Nouvelles de Bagatelle‘ is held at these gardens. It’s the first, international ‘rose’ competition, established in 1907. As far as games go: Bagatelle used to be an indoor table- game which is supposedly evolved into the pinball machine, the pachinko machine and various other hand eye coordination games.