Call For Papers

Considered Belgium's most influential postwar artist, Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976) has served as a paradigmatic practitioner of what Rosalind Krauss called the "post-medium condition". As opposed to his iconic objects and allegorical "décors", his involvements in cinema are still understudied, despite film's crucial place in his oeuvre and his many references to its history, technology, and paraphernalia. Art critics and art historians often seem to struggle to analyze and conceptualize Broodthaers's films that seem to bear no direct relation with contemporaneous practices in the fields of so-called experimental film and video art. As a result, Broodthaers is hardly discussed in studies on avant-garde or underground films, while the specific stylistic features establishing his cinematic authorship have generally been overlooked. This symposium aims to gather an array of perspectives on Broodthaers's cinema. We invite scholars in film, art, and literature to submit a paper analyzing a specific film or a particular para-cinematic intervention, as well as accounts examining his cinematic oeuvre from a historical, media archaeological, comparative, or stylistic point of view. Submissions on the poetic/literary character of Broodthaers's films, and the role the material sign plays in them, are especially encouraged. 

Confirmed keynote speakers: 

Eric C.H. de Bruyn (Freie UniversitŠt Berlin)
Bruce Jenkins (School of the Art Institute Chicago)
Jennifer Wild (University of Chicago) 

Organizing committee:

Steven Jacobs (University of Antwerp/Ghent University)
Raf Wollaert (University of Antwerp) 

EXTENDED DEADLINE: Submissions including a 250-word abstract, and a short bio should be sent to Raf.Wollaert@uantwerpen no later than 17 October 2021. 

This symposium contributes to CINEMATEK's long-standing engagement in conserving and providing access to Broodthaers's film oeuvre. Furthermore, it coincides with the closing weekend of the WIELS exhibition Industrial Poems that focuses on the artist's plastic plaques.The initiative is supported by Maria Gilissen-Broodthaers, the University of Antwerp, the Royal Film Archive of Belgium (CINEMATEK), WIELS Brussels, and Cinea. It is part of a research project funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).