audio archive
image not available online
technical sheet

A printed sheet comprises all the images on the pages of a miniature book. Rows of vertical lines delineate the intended position of the pages, as in a maquette or printer’s proof. The pages are untrimmed, thus denying the book its readability, with the sheet containing the thirty-two countries acting as a reminder of this unfulfilled function.---An ordinary atlas offers a diagrammatic and somehow aseptic representation of the world, while also acting as a conveyor of meaning. To demonstrate that signs are entirely arbitrary, Broodthaers disrupts the normal sets of conventions that generate meaning, such as the sense of scale (all countries are the same size, from Andorra to Canada), eliminates all geographical features such as rivers or mountains and presents them as individually isolated. The fact that countries appear as abstract shapes akin to ink blots reminds us of the work of Stéphane Mallarmé, one of Broodthaers’ most referential authors, and his experimental treatment of words in Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice will never abolish chance), 1897. As its title suggests, Broodthaers dedicates this work to artists and soldiers, since, for him, an artist should fight against all artistic restrictions and classifications like a soldier on the front line.

The texts of the MACBA Collection draw on previous documentation. Please let us know if you find any errors.
original title
year of acquisition
type of object
Graphic material
48.8 x 62.8 cm
© Estate of Marcel Broodthaers, VEGAP, Barcelona
registration number
Col·lecció MACBA. Fundació MACBA
Offset print on Ingres paper
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Enquiry the macba library per més informació sobre l'obra o l'artista.
If you want to make a work loan request, go to
If you want the image of the work in high resolution you can send an image loan request.
for more information, please contact us through the following links
for further information

for further information
Image loan request