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Title: Marcel Broodthaers : strategy and dialogue
Author: Schultz, Deborah
ISNI:       0000 0001 1645 5622
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis examines the work of Marcel Broodthaers (1924-76). It analyses why and how he became an artist, and considers his witty and ironic strategy for success. It explores his relationship with his contemporaries and predecessors, in 19th century French poetry, Surrealism, Pop and Conceptual Art. By making a conscious decision to become an artist, Broodthaers responded to, and commented upon, dominant movements of the period. He constantly referred to other artists and poets, for example Mallarmé, Baudelaire and Magritte, thereby bringing 19th century themes into the 20th century. In drawing upon his own background as a poet, he developed word-image and word-object concepts initiated by Magritte. In turn, these related to a use of language in what later became known as Conceptual Art. This thesis provides a broad analysis of Broodthaers' work as a whole. It examines his questioning approach, and his rejection of conventional definitions to demonstrate their instability. By discussing his poetry and early writings, his objects, museum, and later retrospective exhibitions or Décors, I have aimed to show how the different areas of his practice both interrelated and combined the material with the poetic. I have examined Broodthaers' focus upon the relationship between objects (also central to Structuralist theories) and the importance of the context in which objects exist, whereby he questioned Duchamp's assertion of the power of the artist or museum to define objects as art. A focus upon the relationship between things also informs the artistic context, or dialogue, into which Broodthaers entered, as well as the geographical context he explored via maps, notions of the voyage, and a sense of place. The artist's political position and moral responsibilities in society are discussed by analysing the responses of Broodthaers, Buren, Beuys and Haacke to a series of events in the early 1970s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: French; Dada; Surrealism