Broodthaers Society of America
Joe Scanlan
As a founding member of the Broodthaers Society of America, and as part of Trying Out Positions, a course he is teaching at Princeton University in the Spring of 2016, Joe Scanlan will begin sharing whatever small discoveries he and his students make in regards to Broodthaers' metamorphosis from poet to artist, particularly, the role that language played in the staking out of Broodthaers' new position.

Here is the course description from Princeton's online course offerings:

Artists have long deployed language as a kind of satellite hovering in the vicinity of their artworks, influencing the artworks' reception. The style and method of this language varies greatly and does not always match the accompanying work. This studio seminar will engage students in contemporary art theory and practice by taking up this critical aspect of art-making, that is, the artist producing language that stakes out a position in relation to their visual work. Focus will be on four artists: Marcel Broodthaers, Andrea Fraser, Adrian Piper, and Peter Fischli & David Weiss, two of whom will have a major presence in the vicinity this Spring.

One discovery is a poem that appeared in a modest brochure on the work of Belgian painter R. J. Raine, published in 1962 by Galerie Saint-Laurent, Brussels. The poem, titled L'oiseau de feu, appears to be a "B-side" left out of La BĂȘte Noire, Broodthaers' third poetry collection that was self-published the previous year.

A second discovery is an interview that Broodthaers conducted with Ludo Bekkers, a Flemish public radio journalist, for the museumjournal of The Netherlands in 1971. The interview is somewhat unusual in its candor, as it lacks both a reverent interviewer (in his introduction, Bekkers pretty much describes Broodthaers as an art world pest) and an evasive interviewee (Broodthaers speaks quite plainly about his development and influences, especially in regard to the Musee des Aigles).

Neither L'oiseau de Feu nor the Bekkers interview are included in Gloria Moure's Marcel Broodthaers, Collected Writings (2013).