Marcel Broodthaers Section Cinema 72 at Marian Goodman New York

Section Cinema 72 - film storage shelves

During my late October trip to New York I was fortunate to visit the Marian Goodman gallery to see Marcel Broodthaer’s historic Section Cinema 72.  The gallery space had been cleared out and converted to look as much as possible as when this exhibition debuted nearly four decades ago. There was a distinct, powerful aura of the artist present in the space. There space was further activated by those of us in attendance – as each visitor felt their way about in the darkened central theater. There was also a sense of being on an adult treasure hunt, or of finding one’s self within the apartment of an art historical celebrity – one who had his own permanent mythic status.

Marcel Broodthaers Musée d’Art Moderne, Départment des Aigles

Broodthaers wrote in a text published in conjunction with the Documenta version of this piece: “This museum is a fiction. In one moment it plays the role of a political parody of artistic events, in another that of an artistic parody of political events.”

Marcel Broodthaers, "Musée d'Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section Publicité" 1968-72.


Section Cinema 72 - a view from the film storage to the film projections

Section Cinema 72 screening room

Section Cinema 72 - the floor is numbered

Secition Cinema 72 - the wall is numbered above the vitrine

Photography paper in the film storage room of Section Cinema 72

Film storage contents - Section Cinema 72

"Silence" An instruction for the visitors to the Section Cinema 72

"Museum" is the text on the screen in Section Cinema 72

Editing equipment from the Section Cinema 72 studio

The film storage room of Section Cinema 72

Two films projected in Section Cinema 72

Broodthaers in his film where he is making a watercolor painting in the rain

Broodthaers film where he is in the rain, creating a watercolor painting that immediately washes away

Another screening room for Section Cinema 72 films

Framed works and text pieces in Section Cinema 72

A text film in Section Cinema 72 on a video monitor

Films in the Section Cinema 72 back of the gallery screening room.

Departement des Aigles door at the entry to the gallery exhibition of Section Cinema 72

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

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