This is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work to be held in Turkey. The jewels in the crown of Broodthaers’s oeuvre, such as Pense-Bête (1964), Miroir d’Époque Regency (1973) and 289 coquilles d’oeufs (1966) will be on show until 29 November 2014.
All the works exhibited at Akbank Sanat are taken from the collection of the S.M.A.K., which holds an exceptionally wide selection of works and archive pieces by the artist. Along with that of Joseph Beuys and Panamarenko, Broodthaers’s work forms the backbone of the museum’s collection. In the near future, S.M.A.K. plans to give Broodthaers a more central position in its exhibition and research policy. The curator of the Broodthaers exhibition in Istanbul is Dr. Hasan Bülent Kahraman. Last year, Kahraman was appointed intendant of Europalia Turkey 2015-16. As part of the Europalia festival, S.M.A.K. will be organising an exhibition by the artists Ayse Erkmen (Istanbul, 1949) and Ann Veronica Janssens (Folkestone, 1956) by autumn 2015. Each has been chosen to create a monumental artistic icon that will be given a permanent position on Ghent’s Korenmarkt in 2015. Marcel Broodthaers (Brussels, 1924 – Cologne, 1976) is one of the key founders of 20th-century conceptual art. He is seen as a figure that links Marcel Duchamp’s objets-trouvés to the surrealism of René Magritte. By allowing everyday objects to play different roles within the context of his oeuvre, Broodthaers explores the logic of the way we look at things, and the contradiction between image and reality, concept and object. One of the things for which Broodthaers is famous is his outspoken criticism of the museum as an institution. He also mocks the aura surrounding artists, as well as questioning the value and originality of art. Prior to 1964, Broodthaers was active as a poet. He stuck unsold copies of his final poetry collection Pense-Bête (1964) to a lump of plaster and placed the resulting ‘sculpture’ on a plinth. This marked both the end of his literary career and the beginning of his career as a visual artist. But in Broodthaers’ visual work, poetry, language and literature were never far off. His art is consistently characterised by the interaction between words and images. For the past twenty years, Akbank Sanat has played a key role in the development of art in Turkey by organising a wide-ranging artistic and cultural programme, centred on works in the fields of publication, music, the performing arts and visual art.