Marcel Broodthaers 'La Pluie  (Projet pour un texte)', 1969

La Pluie (Projet pour un texte)

The Rain (Project for a Text)

Tipo obra:
Multimedia recording
16 mm film, b/w, silent, 2 min 19 s
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Herbig long-term loan
Registre núm:

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.
If I make a film, for a genre still defined as the discipline of movement, I have to repeat Baudelaire’s verse, unless…

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. This is highly enticing but involves the risk of serving as a banner for a wide range of merchandise —advertising and propaganda films, pornography, prohibited films…

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. But doesn’t the subject seem shrunken by that conventionalism of transmission style, if not absorbed and relegated to a rarely original documentary of hackneyed ideas?

… 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.

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