La Banque et le critique by Marcel Broodthaers

Marcel Broodthaers, La Banque et le critique, 1964-1968

The work from the Raussmüller Collection marks a turning point in Marcel Broodthaers’ oeuvre. It is a model for the rejection of an object-oriented art in favour of complex, ambiguous installations. Taken from its original context, the golden front side with the words “Coupons”, “Change”, and “Ordres de bourse” still reminds us of the origin of the counter in the world of money. But the windows are painted over; the look through the glass is blocked. Looking on the back side, we see another picture. The green side of poetry contradicts the first impression: as if it were a market place for poetry, we read “poemes” written by hand over the windows. Seemingly arbitrary combinations of letters on the other windows encourage the search for poetic meaning, while simultaneously contradicting a literal sense. Later, the bank turned from object to being part of a happening, where poets recited poems through the windows to the audience.

A retrospective of the work of Marcel Broodthaers is on view at MoMA in New York until 15th of May. The work from the Raussmüller Collection is prominently featured in the catalogue. After closing in New York, the exhibition will travel to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, in October 2016, and to the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, in early 2017.