Marcel Broodthaers: My Ogre Book, Shadow Theater, Midnight


January 11, 2016

Siglio has published a new book that delves into the origins of the influential and elusive artist-poet Marcel Broodthaers, whose works plays in the interstices between language and image. Marcel Broodthaers: My Ogre Book, Shadow Theater, Midnight is an intimate and gorgeously produced book that pairs two of Broodthaers’s earliest collections of poetry—both previously unpublished in English—with an 80-image projection work made toward the end of his too brief life. Together these three works reveal a dizzyingly prodigious interplay between the images and texts—particularly illuminating Broodthaers’s use of the oblique and dark fairytale framework within (and against) which he plays with reflections and reproductions, inversions and fictions, body and shadow, decor and violence.

My Ogre Book (Mon livre d’ogre, 1957) and Midnight (Minuit, 1960) served as an archetypal wellspring for Broodthaers’s later visual works: he continuously drew from their source, recycled and reworked them into new schemata in his installations, films, sculptures and paintings. Both are wildly cinematic books that perform like a fictional theater set (or museum) for a dark fable of which we are only dimly aware. In this vein Shadow Theater (Ombres chinoises, 1973–74), published in full for the first time here, creates a fantastical poetic landscape of semblance and sleights of hand. The silhouettes, isolated cartoon frames, and appropriated illustrations embody an artificial and topical cosmogony—images of images, whose resemblance to “the real” is twice removed and even caricatured. The three works are published together to provide the reader with an unprecedented opportunity to read Broodthaers in both language and image.

Poetry translated by Elizabeth Zuba with Maria Gilissen Broodthaers.
About Marcel Broodthaers
Born in Brussels, Marcel Broodthaers (1924–76) is the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, February 11–May 15, 2016. Embracing poetry, fiction, art, and cinema, Broodthaers’s highly interdisciplinary practice was deeply innovative in its conceptual scope and inimitable concatenations of childlike play and institutional critique, deadpan humor, and investigation into the nature of meaning (and meaninglessness). Influenced by Renee Magritte, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Charles Baudelaire, Broodthaers’s visual work, made in the 1960s and ’70s, now wields its own extraordinary influence on contemporary conceptual art and writing. From books of poetry transformed into unreadable objects, to sculptures made of eggshells and mussels, to his dense and sprawling Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Broodthaers’s work persists in its challenge and relevancy.

Publication date: February 26, 2016 / Hardback / 160 pages / 80 color illustrations / 39.95 USD

Print run limited to 1,000 copies. Pre-orders ship now and receive a 25% discount with code ECLIPSE.

About Siglio Press
Siglio is an independent press dedicated to publishing uncommon books and editions that live at the intersection of art & literature: inimitable, hybrid works by renowned as well as little known artists and writers that defy categories and thoroughly engage a reader’s intellect and imagination. Artists and writers we publish include Joe Brainard, John Cage, Sophie Calle, Dorothy Iannone, Jess, Ray Johnson, Richard Kraft, and Robert Seydel.