Un Coup de Dés Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance) is an artist’s book by Marcel Broodthaers published November 1969 in Antwerp. The work is a close copy of the first edition of the French Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem of the same name, published in 1914, but with all the words removed, replaced by black stripes that correspond directly to the typographic layout used by Mallarmé to articulate the text.
“Broodthaers reduces Un Coup de Dés to its structure – or to put it another way he elevates the structure of the work to a concept worthy of study in its own right, thus acknowledging Mallarmé’s own fetishistic attention to this aspect of his work. Rendering the structure concrete, visible, almost tactile, Broodthaers offers a conceptual analysis of Mallarmé’s poem across the distance of a nearly a century…It would be hard to imagine a more subtle treatment of Mallarmé’s work, or one more capable of demonstrating its essential properties, than this reworked book by Broodthaers.” Johanna Drucker
Often included in exhibitions tracing the history of the artist’s book, the work is seen as a seminal example of the European post-avant-garde. It is often referred to simply as Un Coup de Dés.