Marcel Broodthaers 1924-1976
La Pluie (Projet pour un texte) [1973]
Multimedia recording
16 mm film, b/w, silent, 2 min

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.