Jorn, Asger and Debord, Guy. Fin de Copenhague. Copenhagen: Bauhaus Imaginiste , May 1957. n.p. [36 pp.]; ill.; 24.5 x 17 cm.; ill. blue-gray publisher bindings impressed with a page “liberated” from the Danish newspaper Politiken (each copy was made with a different page, and is thus unique). Color reproduction of text and picture collages.

Our copy is among a handful of unnumbered copies reserved for the artists beyond the commercial run of two-hundred numbered and signed copies. This presentation copy was personally gifted to Ole Jorn by his father,Asger Jorn,  who warmly inscribed it as such (“To Ole, from Papa”).  An extraordinary provenance indeed.

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Fin de Copenhague is the product of a collaboration between Guy Debord and Asger Jorn immediately preceding the foundation of the Situationist International. “The book was printed within 24 hours as an artistic experiment. Having just arrived in Copenhagen, Jorn and Debord rushed into a newsagents, stole a huge amount of magazines and newspapers, and spent a drunken afternoon collaging elements together. The next day they arrived at the printer with 32 collages, which were transferred to lithographic plates. Jorn then sat at the top of a ladder over the zinc plates, dropping cup after cup of Indian ink onto them. The plates were then etched and printed over the black texts and images.” (Bruun Rasmussen). The book was produced by legendary printer of avant-garde movements Permild & Rosengreen, whom Jorn and other COBRA artists had trusted with several of their works.

Since its original publication in 200 copies, Fin de Copenhague was reprinted a few times. It was first included in Documents Relatifs a la Fondation de l’Internationale Situationniste, pp. 553-592 (Paris: Allia, 1985), which is now out of print. A standalone facsimile was released by Allia in 1986, and reissued in September 2001 (under the collection “Contributions a l’Histoire de l’Internationale Situationniste et son Temps”) with a preface by Gerard Berreby. Finally, It is now available over the internet; a full PDF facsimile of the first edition can be found online at  http://monoskop.org/images/7/75/Jorn_Asger_Fin_de_Copenhague.pdf

We locate 13 OCLC copies: 6 in Europe (Danish Union Catalogue and National Library, State and University Library in Aarhus, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Bibliotheque Nordique, Bibliotheque Litteraire Jacques Doucet) and 7 in the United States (Berkeley, Getty, MIT, Northwestern, Stony Brook, Yale, Columbia).

Gonzalvez 84. Hansen 166.

Sincere thanks to Tommy K. for his help in securing this exceptional copy

Further reading:

Nolle, Christian. Books of Warfare: The Collaboration between Guy Debord & Asger Jorn from 1957-1959.http://virose.pt/vector/b_13/nolle.html

Poynor, Rick. On my Shelf: Fin de Copenhague.  http://designobserver.com/article.php?id=37720

 

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