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La Pluie (Projet pour un texte), 1969

The Rain (Project for a Text), 1969

La Pluie (The Rain) was filmed in the garden of the rue de la Pépinière during the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles, Section XIXe siècle period. The backdrop is a brick wall on which the words DEPARTMENT OF WATER are written in whitewash. This was one of the three films Broodthaers made in the same location. The others were La Pipe and La Satire. Sequences from La Pluie appear in certain versions of Un voyage à Waterloo and La Discussion inaugurale.

The film shows Marcel Broodthaers trying to write while the rain constantly washes away the ink.

In the final scene, during which the artist gives up and drops his pen, the inscription “Projet pour un texte” (Project for a text) appears. The film formed part of the Cinéma Modèle and Rendez-vous mit Jacques Offenbach programme and was projected at many other film showings during Broodthaers’ lifetime, including “Film als Objekt - Objekt als Film”, “Salle Lumière”, “Films, dias et photos”, and “Actualité d’un Bilan”.

La Pluie was screened together with the works Neuf peintures, Série française on 16 January 1973 in the Galerie Françoise Lambert, in Milan. The nine-picture series and copies of the film were sold as a single work. The nine pictures had previously been exhibited in Actualité d’un Bilan, a collective exhibition that took place in October 1972 at the Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris.

In the following section we reproduce a facsimile of the text by Marcel Broodthaers dedicated to La Pluie (Projet pour un texte) .

I hate movements that displace the lines.

1. … I don’t make the film and at the same time accept the value of the unused film, the filmmaker’s blank page, and pray that someone else makes it.

2. … I make the film at the expense of hate. A love film for instance.

3. … I set aside the problems of film-specific language and consider the film as a simple reference to a type of abstraction.
Thus, in certain aspects of conceptual art the film is often a banal intermediary in which the idea plays the role of the main subject matter.

… The new image techniques rather than those of film (laser) enable us to find a solution — fleeting I fear — which is indeed interesting.

But you have to be immersed in the world of technology to use this type of medium with any success. And here I find myself cruelly split between something immobile which has already been written and the comic movement that animates at 24 images per second.

Marcel Broodthaers, Cinéma. Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 1997.


Technical details

Original title:
La Pluie (Projet pour un texte)
Registration number:
3942
Artist:
Broodthaers, Marcel
Date created:
1969
Date acquired:
2010
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Media
Media:
16 mm film, b/w, silent, 2 min 19 s
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Herbig long-term loan
Copyright:
© Estate of Marcel Broodthaers, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.

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Mark Wigley