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.