In a parodic gesture, Marcel Broodthaers, the Belgian poet-turned-artist started his own fictional museum in Brussels in 1968 – The Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles – which served as a mental space to mimic the processes of institutionalisation and examine the cost of this institutionalisation to our ideals. In 1971, Broodthaers announced that his fictional museum was for sale on grounds of bankruptcy – his work is often labelled as a melancholic reflection on the museum’s original function. To save his museum, he produced an unlimited edition of gold ingots, imprinted with an eagle, which he offered for sale for a price that was exactly double their market value as gold, and he announced the sale of his museum on the cover of the catalog of the Cologne Art Fair, but no buyers were found.
Broodthaers’ activities at the Cologne Art Fair of 1971 which conceptually connected at once the cities of Brussels and Cologne, and the museum and the art market, became a reference point for this year’s edition of Brussels Cologne Contemporaries. Brussels Cologne Contemporaries is a collaborative event that was started three years ago in which, geographically alternating between the two cities, each year an exhibition is produced that represents galleries from Brussels and Cologne and is curated by an external curator.
Curated by Heidi Ballet