The Absence of Work: 1964–1976
Rachel Haidu's monograph is the most extensive monograph in English on Broodthaers to date. In the book, Haïdu argues that all of Broodthaers's art is defined by its relationship to language. Having worked (we use the term loosely) as a poet for almost twenty years, Broodthaers' acceptance of his poetry's "failure to communicate" led him to explore how visual art might work instead, through noncommunicative, nontransparent, uses of words.
Haidu's characterization of Broodthaers' contribution to institutional critique represents a major departure from the usual approach to this movement, including his rejection of many Conceptual artists' naîve use of language and photography as "reliable" institutions in and of themselves.
Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 2010.
Illustrated, 357 pages, indexed. English.