January 31, 2012 - MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art of Bologna - Marcel Broodthaers
January 31, 2012

Marcel Broodthaers

Marcel Broodthaers, “L’espace de l’écriture,” exhibition view at MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, 2012.
Photo by Matteo Monti.

Marcel Broodthaers
L’espace de l’écriture
26 Jan–6 May 2012

Curated by Gloria Moure

Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14
Bologna, Italy


From 26 January to 6 May 2012 MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna is delighted to presentMarcel Broodthaers. L’espace de l’écriture, the first complete retrospective in Italy devoted to the Belgian artist, curated by Gloria Moure.

In its complexity and scope, the exhibition with which the MAMbo renders homage to the genius of Marcel Broodthaers highlights an artistic path developed over the course of an extraordinary career that lasted just 12 years, from 1964 to 1976. Marcel Broodthaers. L’espace de l’écriture introduces a wide selection of approximately fifty works which document the main themes of the artist’s poetics: the relationship between art and language, the status of the artwork and criticism of the museum as device and idea.

The curatorial project of the exhibition is intended to verify how the relationship between image, object and word constitutes the central and constant theme of Marcel Broodthaers’ research and has strongly conditioned his entire creative process. His original ideas on how the work of art is identified with reflection on itself and on how the social and economic system of art acts as a context of creation and legitimisation, influencing the public’s perception, cannot be understood in all their depth if not in relation to his twenty years of activity as a poet and his subsequent decision to extend his literary vocation in undertaking a new course with a career as an artist in 1964.

The works on display—objects, photographic prints, engravings, slides, editions, books and films—created between 1968 and 1975, sketch out an exhibition concept that is consistent with this key of interpretation and are displayed in relation to each of the different moments into which the exhibition itinerary is structured: The spatialisation of poetry; The object and its image; Le Musée d’Art Moderne; “Décor”: the exhibition.

Also presented are two of the rooms created by Broodthaers for the exhibition L’Eloge du Sujet, held in 1974, the famous Un Jardin d’Hiver II and La Salle Blanche, presented at his last exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1975.

The exhibition begins with Broodthaers’ first explicit actions as an artist, performed in the second half of the 1960s, to continue with the analysis of his subsequent research in which he progressively broadens the investigation into the relationship between sign and content, between word and power, between signifier and signified, between truth and deception, creating complex systems of signs that eschew a univocal interpretation, as in the installations of the fictitious museum “Musée d’Art Moderne” and in the subsequent “Décors”, full-blown movie sets based on the combination of differing and similar objects in the same space, capable of creating a poem with variable tonalities.

Through a process of exorbitance from the sign of the writing that the specific poetics performs to become space, Marcel Broodthaers delivers the very symbolic power of the image to the language. His work can be seen as an atlas of words, a unique visual alphabet in which combinations of texts and images dissolve the conventional meaning of languages to examine the conditions of the enactment of works of art.

MAMbo wishes to thank for their invaluable cooperation: The Estate of Marcel Broodthaers; S.M.A.K. Collection, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent; MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; Staatliche Museem zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie; Caldic Collectie, Wassenaar; Charles Szwajcer Collection; Collection Launia et Maiti; Galerie Michael Werner, Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Cologne & New York; Roberto Crivellini; Nicola Mazzanti; Caroline Bouchard; Bernard Debluts together with all the lenders who have preferred to remain anonymous.

MAMBO – Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna – Marcel Broodthaers
MAMbo - Museum of Modern Art of Bologna
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