Friday, January 16, 2009

Exhibit A: Marcel Broodthaers

I've been tapping out a short essay about Belgian Surrealist poetry of the mid-twentieth century today (what, like you did something more important?), and this got me thinking about the whole Surrealist scene in Belgium from the 40s through the 60s. One of my favorite guys from the scene was Marcel Broodthaers, and his sensibility really takes you to the kind of half-wry, half-punk ethos they had going back then. Broodthaers started out as a poet. When (oh great inevitability) copies of his book Pense-BĂȘte didn't sell, he cast a bunch of them in plaster and declared himself a visual artist. It worked out. So, you know, there's hope.