MY OGRE BOOK, SHADOW THEATER, MIDNIGHT

MY OGRE BOOK, SHADOW THEATER, MIDNIGHT

39.95

This intimate and gorgeously produced book pairs Belgian artist-poet Marcel Broodthaers’s earliest collections of poetry My Ogre Book (1957) and Midnight(1960)—both previously unpublished in English—with an eighty-image projection work Shadow Theater (1973-74) made toward the end of his too brief life. Together these works reveal a dizzyingly prodigious interplay between the images and texts—particularly illuminating Broodthaers’s use of the oblique and dark fairytale framework within (and against) which he plays with reflections and reproductions, inversions and fictions, body and shadow, decor and violence.

My Ogre Book (Mon livre d’ogre) and Midnight (Minuit) served as an archetypal wellspring for Broodthaers’s later visual works: he continuously drew from their source, recycled and reworked them into new schemata in his installations, films, sculptures and paintings. Both are wildly cinematic books that perform like a fictional theater set (or museum) for a dark fable of which we are only dimly aware. In this vein Shadow Theater (Ombres chinoises), published in full for the first time here, creates a fantastical poetic landscape of semblance and sleights of hand. The silhouettes, isolated cartoon frames, and appropriated illustrations embody an artificial and topical cosmogony—images of images, whose resemblance to “the real” is twice removed and even caricatured. The three works are published together to provide the reader with an unprecedented opportunity to read Broodthaers in both language and image.

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