Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) would be the perfect person to inaugurate an exhibition of Edouard Martinet's metallic sculptures. I imagine him reading the first few lines of his magnum opus "Leviathan" to an ecstatic crowd filling the gallery:
"NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within, why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that rational and most excellent work of Nature, man... "
Hobbes attempted to explain the universe as an amalgamation of mechanical processes or movements that are governed by mechanistic principles. Edouard Martinet seems to have taken the essence of mechanical philisophy quite literally.
Starting in the early 1990s, his powerfull imagination and artistic skill (he is a teacher of graphic design), combined with a childhood passion for insects and an uncompromising attention to detail, made him able to visualise a discarded piece of junk metal as the missing part of a larger than life mechanically assembled grasshopper or praying mantis.