Patrick Straram – Tea for One (in Ecrits du Canada Francais VI) [1960]

STRARAM, Patrick. Tea for one (in Ecrits du Canada Francais VI)Montreal, 23 Feb. 1960. 347 p.; 14 x 20 cm.; white cover with text in black.

This often-neglected Straram text is a critical milestone in the young man’s personal and intellectual journey.

From a bio-bibliographical standpoint, “tea for one” is important because it is Straram’s first text published in North America. The Frenchman had left Paris in April 1954 – both to flee conscription and settle with his young wife, Lucille – and settled in Vancouver, Canada. After 4 years in British Columbia, where he mostly worked as a woodcutter, Straram relocated to Montreal in June 1958 and resumed the literary life he had put on hold for half a decade. “Tea for one”, which was written in June 1959 and published in February 1960, was praised by literary critics (e.g., Gilles Marcotte in Le Devoir, «Vie des lettres, Tea for one de Patrick Straram», 19 March 1960) and allowed Straram to start building a reputation in Montreal’s literary circles.

“Tea for one” is also important intellectually because it precedes (if only by a few months) the Cahier pour un Paysage a Inventer (see more here: https://situationnisteblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/cahier-pour-un-paysage-a-inventer/) This is around the time that Straram had resumed his correspondence with Guy Debord — Debord’s letters to Straram have been translated by Not Bored! and are available here: http://www.notbored.org/debord.html.

The text itself is the account of a type of “urban derive” through Montreal — the Situationist overtones are very clear in it.

“Tea for one” was reprinted in Blues Clair (Montreal: Herbes Rouge, pp.7-42) in 1983

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Die Welt als Labyrinth [2018]

Die Welt als Labyrinth. n.p. [Geneva]: n.p. [MAMCO], n.d. [2018]. 1 p.; ill.; 89,5 x 128 cm; white and red ink on black stock. One of 50 printed.

Poster of the exhibition “Die Welt als Labyrinth” held at the Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO) in Geneva from 28 February to 6 May 2018. The illustration is an untitled darboard collage from the Situationist exhibition Destruktion af RSG-6 at the gallery Exi, Odense, Denmark in 1963.

The title of the exhibition “refers to an unfulfilled project for a Situationist exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1960, and shows up one of the questions that are raised by any presentation of these avant-garde movements: how to exhibit in a museum people who were systematically opposed to cultural institutions? Going further than a sabotaging of art through an unconventional register of forms and techniques, it was art as distinct social territory, governed by institutions, and determined by the market economy, that was in these movements’ crosshairs.” (MAMCO)

For more information and pictures of the exhibition, see https://www.galleriesnow.net/shows/die-welt-als-labyrinth/. For a video, see https://vimeo.com/288680033

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Billboard Liberation Front [1997]

BILLBOARD LIBERATION FRONT. Twenty Years of Billboard Alterations and LiberationsSan Francisco: Masters of Pretzels, n.d. [ca. 1999]. 1 p.; 82 x 53.5; ill. Multiple inks on thick white stock. Numbered and signed by the artist (23/50)

This poster commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Billboard Liberation Front, which coincides with retrospectives held in San Francisco (The Lab, 12 March to 1 April 1999) and New York (CBGB, 28 April to 21 May 1999) .

The Billboard Liberation Front (BLF) was a Situationist-influenced group formed in December 1977 by Jack Napier (John Law) and Irving Glikk. The two men practiced cultural jamming by altering billboards around San Francisco and other major U.S. cities, changing key words to radically alter the message and make it anti-corporate. This detournement-like practice continued for the next several decades. In 2013, Complex Magazine named the BLF #27 of The 50 Most Influential Street Artists of All Time. The BLF maintains an active website documenting its history and current practices at http://www.billboardliberation.com/

Founder John Law will be the subject of a major retrospective at the ProArts Gallery and Commons in Oakland, CA this summer. See https://proartsgallery.org/event/signman-john-law/

 

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The Most Dangerous Game: Der Weg der Situationistischen Internationale in den Mai 68 [2018]

The Most Dangerous Game: Der Weg der Situationistischen Internationale in den Mai 68n.p. [Berlin]: n.p. [HKW], n.d. [2018]. 1 p.; 33 x 59.5 cm.; red ink on white stock

The Most Dangerous Game: Der Weg der Situationistischen Internationale in den Mai 68n.p. [Berlin]: n.p. [HKW], n.d. [2018]. 1 p.; 33 x 59.5 cm.; B&W photograph on white stock

Set of two posters released for the exhibition The Most Dangerous Game: Der Weg der Situationistischen Internationale in den Mai 68 held at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin between 27 September and 10 December 2018.

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Guy Debord – Un art de la guerre [2013]

[DEBORD, GUY]. Guy Debord – Un art de la guerre. n.p. [Paris]: n.p. [Bibliotheque Nationale de France], n.d. [2013].  1 p.; ill.; 120 x 160 cm.; colored poster.

Poster of the exhibition “Guy Debord – Un Art de la Guerre” held at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France between 27 March and 13 July, 2013. The photograph, which shows key members of the Situationist International, was taken at the London conference sometime between 24 and 28 September 1960. From left to right: Attila Kotanyi, Hans-Peter Zimmer, Heimrad Prem, Jorgen Nash, Maurice Wyckaert, Asger Jorn, Guy Debord, Helmut Strum, and Jacqueline de Jong.

This poster was never made available for sale, and is thus scarce.

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Patrick Cheval – Curriculum Vitae [2000s]

CHEVAL, Patrick. Curriculum Vitaen.p. [Bruxelles, Belgium]: n.p. [Yves le Manach], n.d. [2000s?]. n.p. [5 p.]; 15 x 10 cm.; plain white wrappers with text in black.

One of the lesser known members of the Internationale Situationniste, Patrick Cheval was born February 9, 1947. He was invited to officially join the movement in the summer of 1968. Cheval had distinguished himself as a key member of the “Enrages” (which resulted in his getting expelled from University of Nanterre’s housing in January 1968) and “Conseil pour les Maintien des Occupations (CMDO)” during the May 1968 riots. During his time in the S..I, he didn’t write much but he did beat up a few people when Debord asked him to (see, for instance, Corr Vol IV, p.28), faked a mental illness to avoid conscription (Corr. Vol IV, p. 91), and got jailed in a Moroccan prison. He resigned from the SI on 22 January 1970, but remained on good terms with the remaining situationists. In la Veritable Scission, Debord writes that Cheval is an “esteemed comrade” (1972), though he laments 3 years later that he’s not been up to much (“il ne fait rien”). In a letter to Jean-Francois Martos dated 16 May 1982, Debord asks Martos to send Cheval his wishes (“Transmet a Patrick notre affectueux souvenir. Il faut qu’il vive et qu’il boive” – Corr. Vol VI, p.213). As he explains with humor in this “Curriculum Vitae”, Cheval spent his adult life jumping from one menial job to another. He passed away on February 5, 1991, at the age of 44.

If you additional insights on the life, deeds, and writings of Patrick Cheval, please comment below or reach out directly.

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A los Libertarios [1980]

[DEBORD, Guy]. A los Libertariosn.p. [Paris]: Los Amigos Internacionales [i.e., Guy Debord], September 1980. Two-sided broadside; 46 x 31.5 cm.; black ink on white stock.

This is the hitherto unknown first edition of A Los Liberatios, which was also published as part of Appels de la Prison de Segovie (Paris: Champ Libre) in November 1980. Signed “Los Amigos Internacionales”, the short text was authored by Guy Debord. He calls out the fact that “more than fifty libertarians are being held in the prisons of Spain, and many among them have been held many years without being tried” and asks that Spanish comrades take action. The broadside is thought to have been distributed in Spain, though it is unclear whether or to which extent his occurred

Full text available at https://sindominio.net/ash/libertarios.html (Spanish), with French (http://kropot.free.fr/Debord-libertaires.htm) and English (http://www.notbored.org/aux-libertaires.html) translations also available.

This broadside is uncommon. We do not locate any copy in OCLC or in the trade.

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Correspondence Debord-Vaneigem [1961]

DEBORD, Guy. [Envelope postmarked 31/01/1961, addressed to Raoul Vaneigem]. Paris, 31 January 1961.

Envelope of a letter that Guy Debord sent to Raoul Vaneigem on 31 January 1961. While the original letter has been seemingly misplaced, the postmarked date has allowed us to identify it in the Correspondance. It was one of the earliest – most likely the first  – letter that Debord sent to Vaneigem. As such, it is critical in initiating what would be a long, fruitful intellectual partnership.

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Correspondence Khayati-Vaneigem [1990s]

KHAYATI, MustaphaSigned autograph postcard.  1 p. (two-sided); 10 x 15 cm.; ill. color photograph of Firenze’s Palazzo Vecchio.

Handwritten postcard by Mustapha [Khayati] to Brigitte Tack – Raoul Vaneigem’s significant other at the time, and a publishing professional – to congratulate her on the birth of her daughter. Khayati says that he will follow up in the following weeks to get back in touch with Raoul [Vaneigem]. Indeed, after a long hiatus, the two men would resume their friendship in the late 1990s.

Incidentally, Vaneigem finished his 1996 book Nous qui désirons sans fin on the same day that his daughter was born, which is why the book is dedicated to her and her mother.

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Correspondence Guy Debord – Noel Arnaud [1959]

DEBORD, GUY. Signed autograph postcard dated 02/02/[1959?] to “Cher ami” [Noel Arnaud]. n.p. [Paris, France], Feb. [1959?]. 1 p. (one-sided); 14.5 x 12 cm.; ill. B&W photograph. Not in “Correspondance”

DEBORD, GuySigned, undated autograph note-card to [Noel] Arnaud. n.p. [Paris, France], n.d. [1958-59]. 11 x 15.5 cm.; black ink on cream stock. Not in “Correspondance”

DEBORD, Guy. Signed autograph postcard to Noel Arnaud, post-stamped 24/1/1959. n.p. [Paris, France]: n.d. [Jan. 1959]. 1 p. (two-sided); ill.; 25 x 9.5 cm.; B&W photograph of the Eglise de la Madeleine. Not in “Correspondance”.

This last postcard is important because it shows that Debord did try to follow up with Arnaud, as he had promised in late December 1958 (see below). Whether that encounter actually happened is uncertain, since the postcard was delivered to Arnaud’s address in Aix en Provence, not in Paris.

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Noel Arnaud and Guy Debord first came into contact in 1956 through the Lettristes’ collaboration in the periodical “Les Levres nues”. In a letter to Frankin dated 28 December 1958, Debord expresses his disappointment at Noel Arnaud’s affiliation with Pataphysics (“N.Arnaud est donc pataphysicien. Regrettable” – Corr. Vol 1., p172). The next day, Debord sends Arnaud a letter acknowledging his new years’ wishes but declining an encounter (“Merci de vos veux…Malheureusement, je quitte Paris demain, pour a peu pres un mois. Je vous ferai signe des mon retour. Bien a vous, G-E. Debord.- Corr. Vol. 1, p. 172). This letter is important because it is the only one between the two men that is referenced in the Correspondence. In a letter to Constant dated 23 May 1959, Debord describes a cold interaction with Arnaud (“A l’instant meme ou je fermais la lettre pour toi, le telephone sonne: Noel Arnaud, qui me qu’il a trouve ta carte longtemps apres (n’etant pas a Paris) et qu’il aimerait avoir ton adresse, car il doit passer en Hollande d’ici une quinzaine de jours. Je lui ai donne ton adresse tres froidement.” – Corr. Vol 2, p.232.). We do not know of further interaction between the two men.