La Vertigine del Gioco: L’Azione dell’Internazionale Situazionista tra Arte e Politica [2021]

GORETTI, Letizia. La Vertigine del Gioco: L’Azione dell’Internazionale Situazionista tra Arte e Politica. Venice: Anteferma Edizioni, June 2021. 240 p.; ill.; 13,5 x 21 cm. In Italian.

“The book deepens the study of the avant-garde movement and the role of play, as a fundamental element in the life and evolution of beings. The game is tension, creation, fun, tactics and it is from this that the theory of the Situationist International takes shape, which branches out into the city, into the knowledge of spaces, into social and economic criticism. A story reconstructed starting from a research that lasted years, in which the author recovered various materials such as flyers, posters, newspaper pages and a whole series of documents that testify the evolution of the movement, from its establishment to its dissolution, which the only member remained Guy Debord, whose action still appears more than relevant today” (Publisher)

The book was released on Wednesday 28th July 2021, on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the Situationist International movement. More details available at
https://www.anteferma.it/prodotto/la-vertigine-del-gioco/, where copies can also be ordered

Constant New Babylon Letter [1962]

CONSTANT (Nieuwenhuys). [CORRESPONDENCE] Geachte Heer Coumans. Amsterdam, 15 August 1962. 1 p.; 21 x 27.5 cm.; black ink on white stock.

Original typewritten and hand-signed letter from Constant (Nieuwenhuys) to [Willem K] Coumans, issued on his writing paper and dated 15 August 1962.

In this letter, Constant briefly explains the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave the Situationist International two years earlier. The recipient, W.K. Coumans, would go on to write the article “New Babylon en Vier Kanten” (published in Nieuws van de Staatsmijnen, 30 July 1965)

The text of the letter reads as follows (translation is mine):

Dear Mr. Coumans,

I am back from vacation and can now answer your postcard from July 14
As you remember, we do not wish for any publicity regarding a possible association with a German architect. Contacts are still too unofficial for that.
I associated with the Situationists for two years. Over that period, the idea of unitary urbanism took shape, culminating in the New Babylon project which appeared publicly for the first time in the Situationist periodical. My isolated position in the Situationist movement, and the lack of cooperation and understanding from its members, led me to turn my back on the movement in 1960. In accordance with your request, I have enclosed a photo*
Best regards,
Constant

*Photo will follow soon, as the stock is exhausted

Forma urmează situației. Orașul Contemporan Anticipat de Situaționiști. [Form follows Situation. Contemporary City as forseen by the Situationists] [2020]

MEDESAN, Silviu-Teofil. Forma urmează situației. Orașul Contemporan Anticipat de Situaționiști. [Form follows Situation. ContemporaryCity as forseen by the Situationists]. Bucharest: OZALID Publishing, 2020. 344 p.; ill.; 16 x 23 cm.; ill. Cover with text in white and red

This book is Silviu-Teofil Medesan’s foray into Situationist theory and its application in contemporary urban environments in Romania. Abundantly illustrated, with hundreds of images and photographs (including several from The Most Dangerous Game exhibition, held in Berlin in 2018)

“We aimed to produce a paper that draws on both theoretical research and activity in the field. The topic is a discussion of the theories put forth by the Situationist International avant-garde movement, analyzing three experimental projects for intervening in the publish space in Cluj-Napoca through the prism of this theory” (p.9)

“The research analyzes the relevance of situationist theories for contemporary phenomena and practices experienced by urban initiative groups in Cluj-Napoca – the author being one of the promoters of these groups -, how these experiments can be viewed using the situationist perspective and the contribution of this reading position to deciphering actions. proposed by non-governmental initiative groups. The conclusions of the study aim at relating contemporary urban experiments to the situationist utopia and the way in which their initiators see their direct involvement in interventions in the urban setting, inspired by situationist theories.

The projects presented and analyzed as case studies are:
• “On Land. Common space in Mănăștur – ”an urban activation project of a green space neglected by the authorities, located in Mănăștur, the largest district in Cluj.
“Eastern Park” – An intervention that starts from a park designed in the ’80s for the eastern part of Cluj, which is in danger of becoming impossible to implement due to pressure from private real estate interests. Through this project, the initiators draw attention to the acute need for green spaces in the neighborhoods of Cluj;
Actions on Someș – A series of projects that propose activities on the banks of the Someș, a river that crosses the center of Cluj-Napoca and whose presence has long been ignored in the life of the city. The initiators of the project advocate for the colonization of the banks and the integration of the watercourse in the urban life.

The book was published with the support of the Order of Architects of Romania from the stamp of architecture.” (Publisher summary, translate courtesy of google)

Flyvebald Nr. 2: Kommerciel sammenspisning! [1963]

INTERNATIONALE SITUATIONNISTE. Flyvebald Nr. 2: Kommerciel sammenspisning!. Copenhagen (Denmark) : Situationistisk Internationale, 1 March 1963. 1 p; 47 x 33 cm.; black ink on cream stock

Rare second poster by the Scandinavian section of the Situationist International, which denounces the Danish Ministry of Culture’s commercialist policies. Includes an excerpt from Debord’s “Thèses sur la révolution culturelle. “The Situationist International’s investigation of the KP scandal in Aarhus is complete. The Young Artist Association and its ally, the new state-endorsed K.P. in Aarhus, are exposed for their commercially-inspired coup attempt. A coup attempt that is as dangerous as the state’s attempt to gain control of the last sector of society — the art sector… Put state control and commercialism back where they belong: in the dustbins of cultural History!” (translation is mine). Signed by P. Laugesen, H.H. Merved, and J.V. Martin for the Scandinavian section. Mailing addresses for the German and French sections are also provided.

Not accounted for in any of the major bibliographies of Guy Debord and the Situationist International (BNF, Gonzalvez, Raspaud & Voyer, Scheppe & Ohrt), and absent of major Situationist archives (Yale, BnF).

To our knowledge, this is the first time this poster is reproduced. We kindly ask readers who have more context on the events described in this poster to write to us or comment on this post.

Flyvebald Nr. 1: Kommerciel sammenspisning? [1963]

INTERNATIONALE SITUATIONNISTE. Flyvebald Nr. 1: Kommerciel sammenspisningCopenhagen (Denmark) : Situationistisk Internationale, 1 March 1963. 1 p; 49 x 32 cm.; black ink on light blue stock.

Rare first poster by the Scandinavian section of the Situationist International, which denounces the Danish Ministry of Culture’s commercialist policies. “What do the heads of the State’s United Culture Concentration Camps (the Academy Council and Ministry of Culture) think about a censored and state-recognized exhibition…having chosen an art dealer as a business manager…” (translation is mine). Signed by P. Laugesen, H.H. Merved, and J.V. Martin for the Scandinavian section. Mailing addresses for the German and French sections are also provided.

Not accounted for in any of the major bibliographies of Guy Debord and the Situationist International (BNF, Gonzalvez, Raspaud & Voyer, Scheppe & Ohrt), and absent of major Situationist archives (Yale, BnF).

To our knowledge, this is the first time this poster is reproduced.

Vestergade 58 Aarhus Praesenterer NY-IRREALISMEN Operation “Playtime”[1967]

[Situationistisk International] Vestergade 58 Aarhus Praesenterer NY-IRREALISMEN Operation “Playtime”Aarhus (Denmark) : Situationistisk Internationale, n.d. [1967]. 1 p.; ill.; 29 x 46 cm.; ill.poster with detourned comics

Poster of the exhibition of anti-paintings by Michèle Bernstein (The Victory of the Spanish Republicans) and J.V. Martin (the Golden Ships series), and five Nothing Boxes by René Viénet. “In March 1967, the same year Debord and Vaneigem’s books appeared, Martin organized another Situationist exhibition in Denmark called ‘Operation Playtime.’ This time the exhibition took place in Aarhus at Galleri Forstesalen. The gallery was located on the first floor at Vestergrade 58, a very vibant local jazz house…” (Rasmussen, Mikkel Bolt. Playmates and Playboys at a Higher Level: J. V. Martin and the Situationist International, p.34)

Scheppe & Ohrt 541. Not in other bibliographies. We do not locate copies on OCLC or in the trade of this rare poster

Im Namen des Volkes [1965]

MARTIN, J.V.. Im Namen des Volkes. Randers: Situationistisk Internationale, n.d. [1965]. n.p. [11 p.]; 21 x 30; ill. covers with detourned comics.

Short pamphlet by J.V. Martin on the trial against the Scandinavian section of the Situationist International. Danish courts later dropped all charges. Ends with the words “There is no state!” (translation is mine).


“IN DENMARK IN FEBRUARY 1965, J.V. Martin published his comments — weighed down by worsening conditions — on the proceedings instituted against the SI by the local branch of “Moral Rearmament” (Im Namen des Volkes). Danish translations of these texts were published by the Left socialist journal Aspekt: in its first issue, under the title To Realize Philosophy, To Realize Art… (Internationale Situationniste #10)

Raspaud & Voyer 117. Not in Scheppe & Ohrt. We locate no copies on OCLC or in the trade.

Das Unbehagen in Der Kultur (ang. dommen over situationisten UWE LAUSEN) [1962]

DEBORD, Guy; VANEIGEM, Raoul. Das Unbehagen in Der Kultur (ang. dommen over situationisten UWE LAUSEN)Randers: Internationale Situationistiske, [1962]. 1 p. leaflet (single-sided); 21.5 x 34.5 cm.; black ink on white stock.

Danish translation of the French-language leaflet (Das Unbehagen in Der Kultur – A Propos de la Condamnation du Situationniste Uwe Lausen), issued in Paris in July 1962.

Signed by Debord and Vaneigem, the text denounces the sentencing of Uwe Lausen (a member of the German section of the SI) to a year-long prison term for “blasphemy” as part of the trial against SPUR. It follows the Declaration sur les Proces contre l’Internationale Situationniste en Allemagne Federale, issued on June 25, 1962, and which denounced the trial itself.

While the original French leaflet included a photography of a young Uwe Lausen, it is not present in the Danish leaflet. Further, while the original leaflet was released on 21 x 29 cm paper, this version is on 21 x 34.5 cm paper. Finally, the address of the SI in Randers (instead of Paris) is listed at the bottom of the page. This Danish translation of Das Unbehagen in Der Kultur will appear in Situationistisk Revolution 1 (October 1962); this leads us to believe that this leaflet was distributed in Denmark during the summer or Fall of 1962

Not in Gonzalvez, BNF, Raspaud & Voyer, Scheppe & Ohrt, and any of the main bibliographies. We locate no copy on OCLC or in the trade

Qu’est-ce que le “situationnisme” [1966]

[BODSON, Guy] ANTOINE, Guy (pseud)“Qu’est-ce que le “situationnisme” in Le Monde Libertaire: Organe de la Federation Anarchiste. Paris, December 1966. 16 p.; ill.; two-sided printed on newspaper stock

This article, authored by Guy Bodson and published in Le Monde Libertaire, is the opening salvo of an internecine war within the Federation Anarchiste. Written under the pseudonym of Guy Antoine, the article offers a panegyric of the Situationist movement just a few months after the publication of De la Misere en Milieu Etudiant and the “Strasbourg scandal” in the Fall of 1966. The Situationist brochure had openly criticitzed the Federation Anarchiste: ““These people actually tolerate everything because they tolerate each other. ” Bodson, who was then a member of the editorial committee of Le Monde Libertaire, was quickly rebuffed by his colleagues. In the January 1967 issue of Federation Anarchiste, C-A Bontemps responds to Bodson in the most direct terms (translation is mine)

Guys your age are, in fact, unable to read the anarchist newspapers and pamphlets of the various tendencies that flourished during the 1900s. Because of this, they do not realize that they are discovering America. The texts of the brochure in question, I read them verbatim (style, intentions, insults) dozens of times before 1914. The Provos replace, less well, the activists of direct action. The Beatniks have replaced the individualists who wanted to be anti-social and, like many of these, they fall into line at age 25. "Situationist theory is therefore not as novel as it is said."

Early in 1967, the editorial committee of Le Monde Libertaire is dissolved by Maurice Laissant. This leads to allegations of authoritarianism on the one hand, and the fear of a Situationist plot against the Federation Anarchiste on the other. Ultimately, this will lead to a split in the Federation Anarchiste. This story is discussed at length in La FA et les Situationnistes

Perhaps more importantly, Qu’est ce que le “situationnisme” is viewed by Debord as “the best article ever written on the subject” (Letter to Guy Bodson dated 11 Decembre 1966, see Correspondance vol. 3, p.180), and is thus worth a read.

Note pour la reunion du 12 Mai 1970 [1970]

[VIENET, Rene] RENE-DONATIEN. Note pour la réunion du 12 mai 1970. n.p. [Paris], May 1970. 2 pp. (single sided); 21 x 27 cm. Black ink on thick white stock; two small edits in blue ink.

Important internal document that documents changes to be made to Internationale Situationniste ahead of issue #13 (which would never be released). Specifically, the issue was to open with a warning (Avertissement) penned by Debord. Includes a draft of the table of contents.

Original preparatory material to this last issue – including a draft of both the Avertissement and an (earlier / different) table of contents – can be found as part of the Gianfranco Sanguinetti archive (box 50), held at the Beinecke Library of Yale University.