Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective

*Véritablement (Truly)*

Marcel Broodthaers. Véritablement (Truly). 1967 65501

Marcel Broodthaers (Belgian, 1924–1976). Véritablement (Truly). 1967. Photographic canvas, 70 1/16 × 48 1/16″ (178 × 122 cm). Private collection. © 2016 Estate of Marcel Broodthaers/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels. Image courtesy Maria Gilissen Archives of Marcel Broodthaers

Francesca: It would have been easy for Broodthaers to become known as the “mussel and egg” artist. But after making objects from these, and other materials, for several years, he shifted gears, developing a more conceptual approach.

Broodthaers, Christophe Cherix: Since 1967 I have been using photographic canvases, films, slides, to establish the relationships between the object and the image of that object, and also the relationships that exist between the sign and the signification of a particular object: the language of forms must reunite with that of words.”

“There are no ‘Primary Structures.’”

Francesca: The title, Veritablement, translates to “truly” or “genuinely.” Ironically, this work is made from many layers of reproductions. The photographic canvas illustrates a glass jar that Broodthaers used in his sculpture. And the jar contains an advertising photo. So it’s a picture of an object, containing a picture. This technique, in which an image contains a smaller copy of itself, appears again and again in his work.

From Broodthaers, open letter, April 27, 1968, in Lignano Biennale I: Rassegna internazionale d’arte contemporanea, 1968. Quoted in catalogue, p. 118

From Broodthaers, Open Letter to the directors of the first Lignano Biennale and the editors of Art International, April 1968. Quoted in catalogue, p. 248

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