Akbank Sanat opens the 2014-2015 season with a major retrospective of Marcel Broodthaers, the Belgian conceptual artist and poet who is one of the most important founders of the conceptual art of the 20th century.
The exhibition, organized in a partnership with S.M.A.K. Museum of Ghent, which has the largest collection of Marcel Broodthaers, and whose curator is Hasan Bülent Kahraman, has a significant importance since it is the first time that the works of Broodthaers will be exhibit in this extent in the world.
Marcel Broodthaers (1924, Brussels – 1976, Cologne) who has used writings, words and texts as subjects in his wide-range conceptual works and put ‘found objects’ at the heart of his works, later made the concepts the backbone of his art. He was a writer, poet, filmmaker, journalist and visual artist. He was actively involved in the intellectual community of Brussels. He published two poem books and produced a movie by 1960.
His visual art career began in 1964 when he embedded 50 copies of his latest book of poems called ‘Pense-Bête’ in plaster. Broodthaers exhibited daily objects, words, texts and childish drawings with most of them included verbal and visual allusions in his personal exhibition opened in the same year. He printed his works on almost everything from books to catalogues, from canvasses hanged on the wall to plastic reliefs. He used various platforms to define the relationship between an object’s image and symbol and its meaning.
Breaking the bond between the objects and their classifications in the daily life, the artist exhibited these within new relations in order to examine the logic that the perception is based on. In 1961, he began to prepare the slide projects that he defined as “système de lecture” (system of lecture) or “Photo-film”. Broodthaersexamined the roles of institutions, presentations and the texts in the perception of an artwork with the concept of given meanings. He established a conceptual “Modern Art Museum” consisted of postcards, paintings and objects he considered as an artwork in his home in Brussels in 1968. This was followed by various installations. The museum had institutional materials, the invitations were sent and the “director” made the inauguration speech. The crates leaned on the wall but there were no visible artworks.
- Pense-Bête, © S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent