With the help of industrial craftsmen, in 1968 Broodthaers began making thin, vacuum-formed plastic signs of the kind typically used for advertising. The artist, who had begun his career as a poet, used the medium to create what he termed Poèmes industriels (Industrial poems); their cryptic text and imagery subvert the clarity expected of such signs. He called these works rebuses—a form in which "reading is impeded by the image-like quality of the text and vice versa." This work and several on the adjacent wall refer to Broodthaers’s project Museum of Modern Art, Department of Eagles, a fictional museum he created between 1968 and 1972 to parody and critique official art institutions.
Gallery label from 2012.