At number 54 Rue Ancienne, there’s a tiny antiques gallery—a veritable Aladdin’s cave. From among all the treasures available to me, and guided by the history and magic of the objects, I picked out a photograph of a child whose name and age were inscribed on the back, and a badly treated teddy bear. Thus was born the story of Elly, who may well have lived on this street—and why not at number 60?
The bear had a dislocated arm, and it brought to mind the people who, having lost a limb, relate the curious sensation of still possessing the missing body part. My thoughts turned to the little girl in the photograph and to all the phantoms milling around us in this historic street in Carouge: ephemeral butterflies that, like Icarus, had flown too close to the sun and one day lost their wings.