Noam Toran’s short film Objects for Lonely Men (2001), tells the story of a man obsessed with Jean-Luc Godard’s 1959 film A Bout de Souffle (where the main character is obsessed with Hollywood gangster films). The protagonist in Objects for Lonely Men designs a tray to house a collection of physical representations of the film. The tray is made from a single sheet of vacuum formed plastic with slight recesses to fit the objects, including: small steering wheel, female mannequin head, cut-out gun, hat, telephone, Herald Tribune Newspaper, sunglasses, ash tray, rear-view mirror, pack of Gitanes non-filtered cigarettes. Toran looks to explore our relationship with electronic objects and the fantasies they create. As a collection, this could serve as a product one could borrow when you rent the video.
Toran continues to explore this relationship in, Accessories for Lonely Men (2001), a collection of eight fictional products designed to help alleviate the loss of a woman. The objects include: (1) a steel finger designed to curl chest hair, (2) a device to “share a smoke” by placing a cigarette in one hole while exhaling smoke from the other, (3) a rapid plate thrower, (4) a plastic tube that is attached to the side of the bed and winds of sheets in the middle of the night, (5) a hair alarm clock that wakes you up by flicking strands of hair in your face, (6) the silhouette of a woman that can be placed in front of a light to cast a shadow, (7) a machine that blows warm, breath-like bursts of air on you while you sleep, (8) cold, feet-like objects to be placed at the end of the bed. Toran attempts to understand loneliness, asking whether we miss the physical individual or the idea of someone.
Toran is collecting the physical manifestations of a particular fantasy. These products are not meant for production, but for reflection. In an interview, Toran explains he had just ended a five-year relationship and began thinking more about loneliness as a theme. At the end of a relationship, a person often collects romanticized versions of moments and objects. Here, Toran presents a collection of physical objects to create an imaginary relationship. Similarly in his film, Objects for Lonely Men, Toran has created objects to help become a fictional character who (in the film) was mimicking fictional gangster characters.