Sims Reed Rare Books×

A Voyage on the North Sea

Broodthaers, Marcel

London. Petersburg Press. 1973
A good copy of the English edition of Marcel Broodthaers' legendary artist book.

From the English language edition limited to 1,100 copies (including 100 édition de tête examples).

This artist book, published to accompany a film of the same name, combines details from a 19th century painting of a fleet of fishing vessels and a photograph of a 20th century sailing boat, delivering a typically befuddling narrative. Printed on unopened doubled leaves, Broodthaers includes a warning text (to the inner front cover and to the final leaf verso) advising against opening the pages with a knife. As is usual with Broodthaers, the two warnings differ, as do the two versions of the title page (one in traditional situation, the second to the rear inner cover) and the front and rear covers.

The first warning, opens with the words 'Before cutting the pages the reader had better beware of the knife he will be wielding for the purpose' before suggesting that the knife itself may turn into an 'idefinite sky' and 'It is up to the attentive reader to find out what devilish motive inspired this book's publication'; the first text concludes 'These pages must not be cut'. Broodthaer's second text opens with the same words but continues in a different vein, suggesting that the knife used may turn into 'a piece of office equipment', the admonition 'These pages must not be cut' follows here rather than at the end and in this iteration, Broodthaers' book has ceased to be 'devilish' (the word is omitted).

'I have bought the painted canvas, which is the subject of this little book, in a store in Paris, in the rue Jacob, a touristy place destined to become even more famous than the 'butte de Monmartre.' I had to pay quite a price for it, even though it isn't signed.' (Marcel Broodthaers referring to the painting in the present work).

[Marcel Broodthaers - Complete Graphic Work & Books 39; Ceuleers 40].
[19 unopened doubled leaves]. Oblong 12mo. (151 x 177 mm). Leaf with title with monochrome photographic vignette, 38 leaves with 77 colour or monochrome plates or vignettes recto and verso, final leaf verso with Broodthaers' warning against cutting; text and images printed on unopened doubled leaves with pagination to the interior, unopened and otherwise blank pages. Some tiny marks to front cover and a small tear to top of spine. Original publisher's glossy white wrappers, titles and vignette in black to front and rear covers, printed text (see below) to inner front cover, title and vignette photograph to inner rear cover.

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