10,000 Francs Reward - Marcel Broodthaers
Printed Matter, Inc. and Département des Aigles Brussels are pleased to announce the publication of 10,000 Francs Reward (Dix mille francs de récompense) by Marcel Broodthaers (1924 – 1976), translated by editor Elizabeth Zuba in collaboration with Maria Gilissen Broodthaers and appearing in English for the first time.
10,000 Francs Reward – a “20th Century Art Treatise” – is realised as a performative self-interview in which Broodthaers’s questions and answers run together in a single, fluid body of text. The work first appeared in connection with the artist’s Catalogue/Catalogus exhibition at the Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1974, inspired by a conversation with art critic Irmeline Lebeer.
Broodthaers’s art-historical text casts light on the motives that have given shape to his broad and evolving practice as a poet, artist, filmmaker and curator. Across four sections – OBJECTS – INDUSTRIAL SIGNS – THE FIGURES – THE FIGURE OF THE EAGLE – 10,000 Francs Reward examines the creation and framing of art generally as well as Broodthaer’s own specific symbology, giving meaningful insight into some of the objects and images that recur throughout his work. Variously anecdotal and aphoristic, the text piece also resonates with the artist’s characteristic humor (“It is Ingres who interests me, not Cezanne and the apples”).
Appearing in the years following the closure of Broodthaers’s conceptual museum Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles – which he founded and “directed” (1968-1972), and which served as a proto-interdisciplinary platform for a series of installation-like “presentations” – 10,000 Francs Reward continues the exploration of a set of themes initiated by that body of work, exploring the nuanced role of artists and their relationship to the museum/institution/gallery.
Situated both in and against a conceptual/Surrealist lineage (“I hope I have nothing in common with that state of mind!”), this text lays the groundwork for a new kind of contemporary art-practitioner whose work confronts and engages the tenuous bind between art object, language and meaning/message, as well as audience, and the necessary implications this has on notions of authenticity and artifice.
Published by Printed Matter, 2016
230 x 180mm