Description & Technical information

From memory, and basing myself on documents, photographs taken at the time by Maria Gilissen, and a plan drawn-up by architect De Groote, I have undertaken to reconstitute the ground floor situated at number 30, rue de la Pépinière in Brussels, in the form of a scale-model.

It was there, on September 27th 1968, that Marcel Broodthaers officially inaugurated Section XIXème du Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles. The ground floor had been emptied of its contents and MB called upon the art-removal firm of Continentale Menkes to loan him an array of empty cardboard boxes and crates that had served to contain art works. He set postcards on the walls (reproductions of paintings from Ingres, Courbet, Meissonier, David, etc.) and drew numbers on the doors. On the streetside windows he had letter-painted MUSEE MUSEUM legible from inside, and on the garden-side the mention Section XIXème Afdeling XIXème, legible from the garden.

A first maquette (the one presented here) was made having in mind the exhibition "Images and Words since Magritte" which traveled to China in 2012.

The house has in the meantime been destroyed and replaced by an office building. In 2013, I made a second model, complemented by the garden with the inscription "DEPARTEMENT DES AIGLES" painted on the wall, and on the streetside the façade and the sidewalk. This last-named is conserved by Maria Gilissen Broodthaers.

During the construction of these models, I took the opportunity of photographing the interior. These images in black-and-white constitute a sort of "documentary fiction" of this site, now historic, but realized a posteriori.

Philippe De Gobert

Date:  2011
Period:  21st century
Medium: Mixed media
Dimensions: 100 x 65 x 60 cm (39³/₈ x 25⁵/₈ x 23⁵/₈ inches)
Categories: Works of Art