Marcel Broodthaers, Décor: A Conquest

Courtesy of Michael Werner Gallery, New York. © 2014 Marcel Broodthaers/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

While locals are preparing for the influx of seasonal skiers, the reopened Aspen Art Museum is preparing its winter show: a revival of an exhibition by late Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. Originally conceived for the opening of the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1974, Broodthaers’s immersive installation, Décor: A Conquest, will transform the ground of the Shigeru Ban-designed museum into a quasi-battle field, capturing the tenuous relationship between war and leisure by mixing cannons and rifles with lawn chairs, potted plants, and crystal candelabras. Although it was created during the Cold War, Broodthaers’s piece still seems incredibly relevant in the context of contemporary conflicts. "The exhibition is a significant reminder that if we fail to learn from history—political, as well as art—we are certain to continue finding ourselves in similar circumstances,” explains Museum Director Heidi Zuckerman. “The questions that Broodthaers asked, and the societal abnormalities he highlighted, are eerily comparable to those that concern us today."