Düsseldorf: Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 1972. First edition. Two volumes. 64; 64 pp. Perfect-bound printed glossy wrappers. Minor surface rubbing to wrappers, near fine.
In the catalogue of the major Broodthaers retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2016, Manuel J. Borja-Villel and Christophe Cherix write: "In 1968, in his Brussels studio, Broodthaers created the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (Museum of modern art, Department of eagles), a museum dedicated not to his work as an artist but to an exploration of the role of the museum. This project occupied him almost full-time for four years, during which he set up twelve temporary individual presentations of his museum in seven cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. These sections were dedicated to chronological periods, such as the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries; to art forms usually kept in the margins of collecting institutions, such as folk art and cinema; to administrative activities such as documentation and publicity; and to specific themes, such as the eagle or his museum’s bankruptcy. With the exception of Section des Figures, which included paintings by René Magritte, and the Section XIXe siècle (bis), which incorporated nineteenth-century paintings, artworks were mostly absent from these presentations. Most of the sections of the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles comprised empty crates, public speeches, letters, postcards, photographs, films, slides, and inscriptions directly painted on the walls and windows of its various venues. Thus, from 1968 to 1972, Broodthaers acted as the self-appointed director/curator of a traveling institution. He ended the project at the very moment it received institutional recognition, when, after having been confined to small galleries, regional museums, and private places, it was included in Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972, in an exhibition that brought the strategies of Conceptual art to the forefront of the international art discourse.Through the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Broodthaers redefined his role as an artist as a meta-role. He was no longer a producer of artworks made for the satisfaction of collectors, institutions, or viewers; he was a museum curator addressing the status of art in society." Item #2016