The audio guide for the Marcel Broodthaers exhibition shows how the artist's installations are connected to cabinets of curiosities and bourgeois salons, explains his literary paintings and décors, as well as explain why Broodthaers exhibited mussel shells and what sections he included in his Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles.
Welcome to Russia’s first exhibition of Marcel Broodthaers, an artist whose career lasted only twelve short years and ended abruptly in 1976. Those twelve years, however, proved to be among the most important in the history of contemporary art—and Broodthaers became a figure as revolutionary as Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, both of whom were active for much longer periods.
Not only did Broodthaers invent new art forms and subjects, he also expanded the very language of art and introduced poetry into the territory of visual art. Even just a list of his inventions and discoveries would take longer than the format of an audio guide allows: institutional critique, postcolonialism, a new relationship between text and image, neutralized medium, mail art—no monograph could cover everything he did in those twelve years. For example, in 1974 alone, Broodthaers held nine solo exhibitions, took part in numerous group shows, produced publications, films and did much more. This audio guide does not attempt to give an exhaustive overview of his work and cannot even cover all the works in the exhibition, but it offers some tools for visitors to try and decode his art or at least enjoy the process of finding various keys for interpretation.
Marcel Broodthaers. Poetry and Images is organised as a kaleidoscopic narrative—a space where works rhyme with or reflect on each other and enter into special relationships, expanding, adding to or anticipating each other’s meanings.