The paradoxical art of Marcel Broodthaers, or What do eagles, mussels, and camels do in a museum?

Lecture cycle “Ceci n’est pas M.B.”
7 December 2018


The lecture will focus on Marcel Broodthaers’s various experimentations in the field of visual art, from the reevaluation of surrealist legacies and the use of found objects—to his large-scale installations from the Décors series and the iconic project Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles.

A man in his forties disappointed in poetry, Marcel Broodthaers burst into the art scene suddenly and quite unexpectedly.  Although his visual arts career lasted only twelve years, it was full of bold experiments, subtle irony, and the battle against stereotypes. Broodthaers used to put in doubt any established conventions: those related to the limits of visual and verbal in aesthetics, the interconnections between “high art” and “the banal”, the mechanisms of museum work and exhibition making, the role of the artist in the “colonized” modern world. His works paradoxically combine interest in the structure of language and word as a medium, the fundamentals of the conceptual paradigm in art, and attention towards the materiality of an object, typical for pop art and the new realism. Balancing in between the local and the global, the funny and the serious, Broodthaers’s oeuvre throws a bridge from the absurd activities of the early twentieth century artists to contemporary art of the postmodern era.


Ekaterina Kochetkova, PhD in Art History, is senior professor at the Faculty of History at Lomonosov Moscow State University and member of ICOM (International Council of Museums). Her research area includes the history and theory of contemporary art, architecture and landscape art, practices dealing with space and nature in twentieth and twenty-first century art, as well as museum studies and strategic management in the area of cultural projects. Having worked in the field of contemporary art since 2006, Kochetkova collaborates with some of the leading museums and institutions, including Moscow Museum of Modern Art, NCCA (National Center for Contemporary Arts), Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art.


Free admission with advance registration


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