fbpx Broadbent, Thomas (US) | croxhapox

Broadbent, Thomas (US)

crox 43 /zipper room/ April 1996

crox 44 /installation window: workmen/ April-May 1996

crox 51 /open doors/ Autumn 1996

crox 82 /installation window: mail art/ Summer 1998

crox 104 /the first 10/ Summer 2000 >publication

crox 117 /installation window: eat cake/ March 2004

crox 145-I /basics 2/ June-July 2005

crox 170 /simulator/ March 2006

crox 145-II /basics 2 sequel/ April-May 2006


The crox-diary, edition 1996, has the following chronology:

26 March 11 a.m. Thomas Broadbent Zaventem quite some funny day (van and Thomas Broadbent hit it off immediately, they’re making jokes and teasing one another all the time, eds.)

dinner at Faki Pizza in Sleepstraat

27 March building of the exhibition

28 March spareribs and tripel

During opening night on March 30th, the speaker of the occasion introduces Thomas as a notorious American serial killer;

Monday: visiting the Museum voor hedendaagse kunst [Museum of contemporary art] and dinner in African restaurant Togo;

from April 1st: Broadbent-installation window (crox 44) in Onderstraat 26. Thomas departs for Amsterdam or Brugge. 8 April TB turns up again.

The diary records a conversation about faeces: pinch a loaf, dung, doody, doody-ball, crap, runs.

On April 10th a trip to Paris; they visit the retrospective exhibition of Corot and dine in Le Polidor.

On April 11th a race to Zaventem; the Skoda stalls in one of the infamous Brussels’ jams; the chairman of crox haphazardly chooses an exit into the direction of Somewhere Nowhere and successfully delivers Thomas at the check-in desk with 5 minutes to go, cheerio.


At the end of October 1996 Thomas Broadbent visits Belgium again, this time just for fun. van and Thomas travel to London (via Calais, by Skoda) and turn up in Winchester, after a tour of Oxfordshire. Broadbent destroys, presumably not on purpose, some parts of the Skoda. In Oxford he realises he still carries the keys of the London hotel room. In Dover they meet a drugs squad and a police dog unearths a ham-and-cheese sandwich at the front of the Skoda. van can’t open the capeau [bonnet] of the Skoda. The British drug coppers were high as a kite till it finally turned out that the car was indeed quite empty of illicit substances. During this trip Thomas and van start addressing each other as resp 'Hastings' en 'Jeevers': "Hastings, you creepy son of a bitch, what's the goddamn problem?" etc.

Broadbent introduces Amy Kephart. In 1998 The Singing Painters (at that time exactly 2 months old) perform in Lier during the opening night of Broadbent's Voorkamer-solo. "Five more minutes" (a TSP standard from 1998) is dedicated to Tom. Later Thomas Broadbent is invited to participate in Basics 1 (crox 110, November 2003) but he fails to recognize some fundamental principles. He is the only one of 25 artists announced at the poster who has no work to show.

Among all American artists shown in Croxhapox from 1995, Thomas Broadbent is the only one (or the first one) who gets a firm footing in the alternative segment of the local art scene. Luk Lambrecht’s article in DM (1998) [De Morgen, Belgian Dutch-speaking ‘quality’ newspaper, n.o.t.] about the Voorkamer-interventions by Thomas Broadbent (the description could easily have fitted the crox-solo of Broadbent, 2 years earlier): "Most sculptures are made of high quality fabric and resemble anonymous headless inflatable dolls. In all works, he uses zippers, without confronting the audience with any erotical suggestion whatsoever. It is fascinating to see how Broadbent creates a tension that never becomes vulgar but rather raises sexual hypocrisy as a subject.”