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La Soupe de Daguerre by Marcel Broodthaers consists of nine color photographs of vegetables and three silk paper fish.
© The Estate of Marcel Broodthaers c/o SABAM Belgium 2019

Marcel Broodthaers
La Soupe de Daguerre, 1976

Does ‘La Soupe de Daguerre’ deserve a Michelin star?

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Broodthaers created a balance between Surrealism and conceptual art and used photography to question contemporary art and put it into perspective.

He investigated the levels of the photographic image using nine colour photographs of vegetables and three pre-existing reproductions of fish made out of tissue paper, which he framed as a ‘full multiple.

His aim was to create a parody on the photographic medium and its inventor Daguerre with a soup cooked in his name. The school label suggests that the work is part of a historic museum collection. He uses photography in a non-artistic way by using and (re)using banal photos and in doing so, he is a pioneer in the relationship between photography and visual arts in the post-modern style. Although this soup can never be eaten, the photographic images remain in a state of permanent freshness long after the vegetables that have been photographed have rotted away.

Broodthaers was well aware that photography has a relationship with reality that leads to Surrealism. In a sense, every photo is surreal, particularly where it pretends to be reality itself, while it is essentially a reduced model and is positioned in a linguistic perspective.