Le salon noir


Coffin with glass shelves containing a photographic paper effigy - positive and negative - of the poet Marcel Lecomte, table, chair, black hangings, glass mount, silver paper, metal, visit card

Variable dimensions

Le Salon noir is an installation whose scenography varies according to where it is displayed. A photograph by George Thiry presents its original composition: it shows the artist sat, his elbow on a table covered by a black tablecloth. A glass bell jar is placed on the table, containing a plate and a fork wrapped in silver paper. In front of him, a black coffin is standing vertically against the wall, open. Seventeen black and eighteen white pots bearing the profile image of poet Marcel Lecomte line the shelves. The coffin lid is placed next to the coffin.

All at once a menhir, a sarcophagus and a surrealist memorial, the installation predicts the demise of the poet and friend, who is alive at the time the installation is created. The artist plays with the veiling and the unveiling and with the premonitory character, both as protector and admonitor, of the artwork's funerary dimension.

Marcel Broodthaers' Le Salon noir (1966) was first shown by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition The Illusion of Light at Palazzo Grassi, in 2014.