Laboratorio Sperimentale Del Movimento Internazionale per una ‘Bauhaus Immaginista’. Primo Congresso Mondiale Degli Artisti Liberi. Alba: n.p. [M.I.B.I.], September 1956. 6 p. (1 x 21 x 29.5 cm sheet folded into a six-page mini-brochure); 12 x 23.5 cm.; black ink on thin white stock.

This unassuming document serves as the program of the First World Congress of Free Artists, which was held in Alba on September 2-9, 1956. Participants include “Enrico Baj (Nuclear Art Movement, Milan; excluded in the course of the conference on the Lettrist delegate’s demand), Jacques Calonne, Constant (ex-Cobra; Christian Dotremont does not attend, ostensibly because of illness), Giuseppe Pinot Gallizio, Asger Jorn, Piero Simondo, Ettore Sottsass Jr, Elena Verrone (International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus), Gil J. Wolman (Lettrist International/Potlatch), Sandro Cherchi, Franco Garelli (Turin), Jan Kotik, Pravoslav Rada (Czechoslovakia), Charles Estienne, Klaus Fischer, several others.” (http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/chronology/1956.html).

From the same source: “Two exhibitions are held simultaneously: Futurist Ceramics 1925-33, organized by Jorn and Gallizio, at Alba town hall; and an exhibition by the experimental laboratory at Corino cinema, involving Constant, Gallizio, Garelli, Jorn, Kotik, Rada, Simondo and Wolman. Wolman’s ‘Address’ is accepted by the congress as its final resolution. Jorn is appointed committee director of Potlatch, while Wolman is added to the editorial board of Eristica.”

The First World Congress is critical in that it cements relationships between key avant-garde artists and emerging movements of the time. In many ways, it lays the ground for the Founding Conference of the Situationist International (SI), which takes places in Cosio d’Arroscia, Italy, the following July. Many of the participants were the same as in Alba, and the “complete unification of the groups represented and…the constitution of a Situationist International” (Potlatch #29) should then be viewed as something that was long in the making.

Rare. Not in the trade or in OCLC.

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