King Mob Echo 1 – Original printer’s plates [1968]

King Mob. King Mob 1: King Mob Echo. n.p. [London: BCM/King Mob], n.d. [ca. April 1968]. 10 original printer’s plates, various dimensions.

Complete set of original printer’s plates for King Mob Echo 1. Of note, the first plate is the picture from the front page of an early issue of Ben Morea’s Black Mask, showcasing the connection between the two groups

This first issue of King Mob includes a front cover image of a menacing masked man (from Louis Feuillade’s film “Fantomas”) above a Karl Marx quotation (from “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon”). Contents include: “The Return of the Repressed” by radical psychoanalysis scholar Norman O. Brown; “Desolation Row”, an excerpt “free translated from Raoul Vaneigem’s Traite de Savoir Vitre a l’Usages des Jeunes Generations” (1967); “Urban Gorilla Comes East”, the magazine’s only original King Mob statement, co-written by Phil Cohen (also known for his involvement with the London Street Commune and the 144 Piccadilly squat) and Donald Nicholson Smith. Reprinted in King Mob Echo: English Section of the Situationist International (London: Dark Star, 2000), pp. 71-81

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PSA: Cinema Situationniste – Integrale Guy Debord

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Following “Against Cinema: Situationist Cinema and its Legacy” at the ProArts Gallery in Oakland (California, USA) we are happy to announce a Situationist cinema retrospective (“Cinema Situationniste – Integrale Guy Debord“) to be held at the Cinematheque de Toulouse (France) from 3 to 20 December 2019.

The following Lettrist / Situationist films will be featured

  • Traité de bave et d’éternité (Isidore Isou. 1950)
  • Le film est déjà commencé ? (Maurice Lemaitre. 1951)
  • Hurlements en faveur de sade (Guy Debord. 1952)
  • Sur le passage de quelques personnes à travers une assez courte unité de temps (Guy Debord. 1959)
  • Critique de la séparation (Guy Debord. 1961)
  • La Société du spectacle (Guy Debord. 1973)
  • La dialectique peut-elle casser des briques ? (Rene Vienet. 1973)
  • Réfutation de tous les jugements, tant élogieux qu’hostiles, qui ont été jusqu’ici portés sur le film « La Société du spectacle » (Guy Debord. 1975)
  • In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (Guy Debord. 1978)

The following Situationist-inspired films will be featured:

  • Les Souffrances d’un œuf meurtri (Roland Lethem. 1967)
  • Les Idoles (Marc’O. 1968)
  • La Fée sanguinaire (Roland Lethem. 1968)
  • Le Sexe enragé (Roland Lethem. 1969)
  • Week-end (David McNeil. 1968)
  • What Happened to Eva Braun ? (David McNeil. 1969)
  • Les Aventures de Bernadette Soubirou (David McNeil. 1973)

Talks by Gerard Berreby, Guy-Claude Marie and Jean-Pierre Kalfon

Full details available here here

Fordern wir das unmoegliche: eine austellung uber die Situationistische Internationale [2019]

Fordern wir das unmoegliche eine austellung uber die Situationistische Internationale. Hamburg: 8. Salon, n.d. [2019]. 10 x 15 cm two-sided postcard.

Postcard announcing the exhibition “Fordern wir das unmoegliche: eine austellung uber die Situationistische Internationale” held at 8. Salon in Hamburg, Germany from 13 October to 2 November 2019.

More at http://8salon.net/hello-world/

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Google translation of the press release below

PRESS RELEASE

The history of the Situationist International (1957-1972) has been the subject of several exhibitions since 1989, more or less respectful of the fact that such an endeavor collides with the self-understanding of the Situationists. In the meantime, however, the art market and ownership have deprived the necessary exhibits – whether “works of art”, publications or documents – of their free association. It has become almost impossible to realize such a project unbureaucratically and without great financial commitment. The exhibition in the 8th Salon will nevertheless try to present the subject, on the narrow line between memory and actualization; it will be both documentary, and thus deal with the “closed treasures”, as well as practically playful and open, that is, to show inventions or to formulate “values” that were first created for the exhibition. We show, among other things, the “war game” by Guy Debord in a version designed by Youssef Tabti and a sound collage by Hanna Mittelstaedt and HF Coltello. 

Internationale Situationniste 1958-69 (Advertising Leaflet) [1969]

[Internationale Situationniste]. Internationale Situationniste 1958-69. Amsterdam: Van Gennep, 1969. Tri-folded leaflet.; ill.; 32.6 x 19.7 cm.; black ink on white stock.

Promotional leaflet for the reprinting of all 12 issues of Internationale Situationniste by Van Gennep. The thick volume would ultimately be released in 1970 by the Dutch publisher.

The leaflet features two non-attributed comics. The first one features Debord, Hegel and Vaneigem in a dive bar. The other takes place at the Interpol headquarters, where senior police officers (including Paris’ own Grimaud) worry about the spread of Situationist ideas across Europe and the world.

Debord was quite pleased with this production. In a letter to Tony Verlaan, dated 22 July 1969, he writes: “Les dessins du comic sont très beaux. D’un côté, un rassemblement de situs dessinés dans un style qui évoque la gravure populaire du XIXe siècle. En face, un rassemblement de policiers, dans une forme très moderne et dépouillée (un peu le genre de certains comics publicitaires)” (Corr. Vol IV, p.100). In English: “The drawings of the comics are very beautiful. One on side, a gathering of situationists drawn in a style that evokes nineteenth century popular engraving. Opposite, a gathering of police officers, in a very modern, bare-born style (a bit like some advertising comics)”.

Not on OCLC. Scheppe & Ohrt 565.

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PSA – FRANÇOISE SULLIVAN. WORKS FROM ITALY

FRANÇOISE SULLIVAN. WORKS FROM ITALY

Moere here: https://galerie.uqam.ca/en/expositions/francoise-sullivan-works-from-italy/

Curator: Louise Déry

Artist: Françoise Sullivan

La Macina di San Cresci, Greve in Chianti (Italy)

September 22, 2019 – September 30, 2019

Opening: September 22, 2019, 6:00 pm

Produced by Galerie de l’UQAM in parternship with La Macina di San Cresci

Galerie de l’UQAM is proud to present Françoise Sullivan. Works from Italy, bringing together works inspired by this great Montréal-based artist’s numerous trips to Italy, where she met several important figures in the art world.

Since the 1940s, Françoise Sullivan has created a vibrant and voluminous oeuvre of remarkable versatility and constantly renewed inventiveness. Inspired by the great European and Native North American mythological traditions, passionate about art and poetry, and influenced by the time she spent in New York, Italy, Ireland and Greece, Sullivan has, in her boundless curiosity, never stopped experimenting with form and colour, gesture and movement, figuration and abstraction, not only in sculpture, performance, dance and photography, but also most decisively in painting.

THE EXHIBITION AND REUNION WITH GIANFRANCO SANGUINETTI

During the 1970s, Françoise Sullivan visited Italy on multiple occasions to immerse herself in the artistic movements being developed around Arte Povera. In Rome, she met several leading figures in the art world such as Jannis Kounellis, Mario Diacono, Emilio Prini, Germano Celant and Graziella Lonardi. Particularly in the summer of 1972, she stayed in Tuscany with her sons, where she regularly met with Gianfranco Sanguinetti, a revolutionary theorist and member of the italian Situationist International branch. Alongside him and on several occasions, she met Guy Debord, founder of the Situationist movement and author of The Society of the Spectacle. In Françoise Sullivan. Works from Italy, Sullivan once more visits the sites where these encounters took place, a lesser-known period of the artist’s extensive career. Here, she showcases works either created in Tuscany and Rome, or inspired by these moments that embody a true turning point and gave impetus to her artistic vision. September 22 and 23 will furthermore mark the public reunion between Sullivan and famous author Gianfranco Sanguinetti.

An abundant production of performances, choreographies, writings, photographs and paintings marks the artist’s career and has earned Françoise Sullivan a place in the pantheon of Canada’s greatest artists. Sullivan’s trajectories, so radiant, enlighten both our recent history and the present moment. She who still goes to work in her studio every day and continues to think (and think of herself) in and through art, invites us to engage in the vital relationship between the work of art, memory and the world around us.

THE ARTIST

Françoise Sullivan, dancer, choreographer and visual artist, was one of the founding members of the Automatiste group and a signatory of the manifesto Refus global (Total Refusal) in 1948. From the 1960s on, her work grew more diversified as she turned to photography, sculpture, installation and performance art. However, it is painting that has occupied her interest most intensly over the years, and she continues to devote impressive energy to it today. There are many reasons why Françoise Sullivan is a significant figure in the history of art in Québec and Canada, as is apparent from the range of distinctions she has received, which include the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, the Ordre de Montréal, the Ordre national du Québec, the Order of Canada, a Governor General’s Award, etc. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (1981-82; 2018-19), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (1993), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2003) and Galerie de l’UQAM (1998; 2018), as well as in a great number of group exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States. For thirty years, beginning in 1977, Sullivan taught visual arts at Concordia University in Montréal. She was born and still lives in Montréal where she is represented by Galerie Simon Blais.

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PSA – Vincent Meessen’s “Blues Klair” at the Powerplant (Toronto, ON)

Contemporary artist Vincent Meessen is holding an exhibition (“Blues Klair”) at the Powerplant in Toronto from 21 September 2019 to 5 January 2020. More about the exhibition and artist below.

It’s been our pleasure to lend a number of items related to Fundi (aka Caribbean Situationist) for this show,  including the famed LP “None Shall Escape: Caribbean Situationist vs. Trevor Monroe”:

  • Caribbean Situationist / Fundi (i.e., Edwards, Joseph). Correspondence 1 –
    June 1975. Kingston, Jamaica / St. Johns, Antigua / New York NY, USA, June 1975.
  • Caribbean Situationist / Fundi (i.e., Edwards, Joseph). None Shall Escape: Radical Perspectives in the Carribean. News from everywhere, London, July 1988.
  • Caribbean Situationist / Fundi (i.e., Edwards, Joseph). Unions versus Menegement (sic). Kingston, Jamaica: Abeng Group, October 1971.
  • Caribbean Situationist / Fundi (i.e., Edwards, Joseph). None Shall Escape: Caribbean Situationist vs. Trevor MonroeLondon: Caribbean Situationist, June 1973
  • Caribbean Situationist / Fundi, i.e., Edwards, Joseph] Contributions Serving to Rectify the Opinion of the Public Concerning the Revolution in Undeveloped Countries. London: Caribbean Situationist, July 1973.

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Belgian artist Vincent Meessen often works collaboratively, drawing on the combined knowledge of collectives to conceive exhibitions and projects that investigate the construction of colonial modernity and its impact on contemporary experience.

Blues Klair is developed around the newly commissioned immersive film installation Ultramarine, which focuses on a mesmerizing spoken word performance of the self-exiled African-American poet Gylan Kain, whose performances in the late 1960s were a primary influence on the development of rap. Accompanying music is improvised by Belgian jazz drummer and percussionist Lander Gyselinck. In relation to notions of errantry, the blues of exile, belonging and the poetic power of the word, Meessen’s exhibition also excavates the archive of Patrick Straram, an exiled French Lettrist, jazz and film critic, who immigrated to Montreal in the mid 1950s. There, he maintained vigorous exchanges with figures of the French avant-garde and worked on his unfinished literary project “Blues Clair”. The exhibition links the emancipatory nature of these histories to the 1969 occupation of Sir George Williams University in Montreal (now Concordia University) by West Indian students, which marked the struggle for equality of Black and Caribbean people in Canada.

In the blue layered textile structure that frames Ultramarine and multiple references throughout, the colour blue is the chromatic, historical and discursive filter through which Blues Klair is experienced. It is an alternative way to read history through color, ultramarine referring all at once to a pigment, overseas territories, trade, colonial and slave routes.

Vincent Meessen (born 1971 in Baltimore, USA) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He represented Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015). Solo exhibitions include Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse (2018); Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris (2018); BOZAR, Brussels (2017); Kunsthalle Basel (2015); KIOSK, Ghent (2013) and MUAC, Mexico City (2013–14). Meessen has also recently participated in group exhibitions at Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (2018) and Taipei Biennale (2016). His films have been shown in museums including Kiasma (Helsinki); MUMOK (Vienna); Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid) and Lincoln Center (New York), and in film festivals including IFFR (Rotterdam); IDFA (Amsterdam); Image Forum Festival (Tokyo) and FESPACO (Ouagadougou). Vincent Meessen is founding member of Jubilee, platform for artistic research and production.

Ne Travaillez Jamais! [ca. 1965-66]

[DEBORD, GUY]. Ne Travaillez Jamais! . Paris: Lyna, n.d. [ca. 1965-66]. 15 x10.5 cm.; ill. color postcard. Second printing (following the 1952-53 black & white version by Alaph)

Postcard designed by French postcard maker Louis Buffier featuring a colorized photograph of the famous “Ne travaillez jamais” (Never Work) graffito, for which Debord claims ownership. The slogan was scrawled on a wall on the Rue de Seine in Paris, likely in 1952. The young Debord was possibly influenced by Rimbaud, who wrote in his poem Vierge Folle: “Jamais, jamais je ne travaillerai” (Never, I shall never work). On the bottom-left corner,  Buffier added the text “Les Conseils Superflus” (which can translate as “commonsense advice”).

Debord would reprint a photograph of the graffito in issue no.8 of Internationale Situationniste in January 1963. A few months later, he received a letter from the Cercle de la Librairie demanding a payment because of copyright infringement. In his response (found here in translation), Debord clarified that he was the author of the graffito, and sought to understand why the publisher had stolen his work. He received no response to his letter.

We locate a copy at Johns Hopkins University

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PSA: Against Cinema – Situationist Film and its Legacy (Aug 30 – Sept 27)

Dear readers,

For those of you living in or near the San Francisco Bay Area, I am co-curating an exhibition/retrospective entitled Against Cinema: Situationist Film and its Legacy. It will be held at the ProArts Gallery at 150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza in Oakland California from August 30 to September 27. More information can be be found here

Untitled

On June 30, 1952, Guy Debord’s Hurlements en faveur de Sade (trans: Howls for Sade) premiered at the Ciné-Club d’Avant-Gardes in Paris. A few minutes into the film, a narrative voice stated: “There’s no film. Cinema is dead. There can’t be film anymore”. Many of the viewers walked out, while others loudly protested the film. The chaos was so severe that the screening was halted after only a few minutes.

Situationist cinema is both scandalous and revolutionary because it rejects many of the core premises of cinema. First: Film-making is about creating new images, producing new representations. La Société du Spectacle (trans: Society of the Spectacle), Debord’s screen adaptation of his 1967 book, defies this principle. The 88-min full-length feature contains absolutely nothing new – every shot is “borrowed” from existing media sources. The film includes footage from TV ads, news reports, documentaries, and masterpieces of world cinema like Battleship Potemkin.

Second: Images and sound should support each other to create an immersive (or at least coherent) viewer experience. In La Société du Spectacle, Debord substitutes the footage’s original soundtrack with voice-over readings of material from his theoretical treatise and music by 18th century classical composer Michel Corette. In his La Dialectique peut-elle casser des briques? (trans: Can Dialectics Break Bricks?) – dubbed “the first completely detourned film in the history of cinema” – René Vienet takes a conventional, B-list martial arts film and turns it into a story of revolutionary class struggle. This is done by preserving all the visuals while altering the soundtrack (through a “creative” dubbing of the original Chinese) to tell a completely different story.

For Debord, “the spectacle is…a social relation among people, mediated by images.”. Through film, he (and other like-minded film-makers) seek to “dismantle the spectacle” (T. Levin) – that is, to uncover the mechanisms at play in spectacular society. As such, cinema operates as a critical medium for Situationists to articulate their radical criticism of the spectacular-commodity society.

The exhibition, Against Cinema: Situationist Film and Its Legacy, seeks to retrace the history and legacy of Situationist film. From its inception in the Lettrist works of Maurice Lemaitre, Gil Wolman and the young Guy Debord in the 1950s through the Situationist-influenced films of René Vienet in the 70s, Isaac Cronin in the 80s, Michel Hazanavicius in the 90s, and Tiqqun in the 2000s. While there have been numerous retrospectives of Guy Debord’s film – at the Magic Cinema in Bobigny (2002), the Cinema le Miroir in Marseille (2006), the German Cinemateque in Berlin (2008) and the Yamagata Film Festival (2009), among others – far fewer (if any) attempts have been made to look at Situationist film more broadly. In addition to film programming, this exhibition is unique in bringing together some of the most prominent creators, translators and critics of Situationist cinema. The gallery will also feature a collection of unique original artifacts pertaining to Lettrist and Situationist artifacts, with items ranging from movie posters, lobby cards, film stills, original movie scripts, bootleg VHS tapes, censorship leaflets, film synopses and more. All in all, this is an occasion to fully immerse yourself in Situationist cinema.

Public Program

Opening Reception: Aug 30, 6 – 9 pm with an introduction by Mehdi El Hajoui.

Film Screening series:

Sep 6, 7 – 8:30 PM, door opens at 6:30 PM

Guy Debord. La Société du Spectacle (1973) with an introduction by Ken Knabb

Sep 12, 7 – 8:30 PM, door opens at 6:30PM

René Vienet. La dialectique peut-elle casser des briques? (1973) with an introduction by Keith Sanborn

Sep 19, 7- 8:30 PM, door opens at 6:30 PM

Isaac Cronin and Terrel Seltzer. Call it sleep (1982),  And the war has only just begun (2001).

Sep 27, 7- 8:30 PM, door opens at 6:30 PM

Heath Schultz and Guy Debord. Society of the Spectacle (2013) with an introduction by Heath Schultz

About the archive

The exhibition draws from the Internationale Situationniste and its aftermath archive. Through nearly 2,500 items, the archive retraces the History of the avant-garde movement, starting with the foundation of the Internationale Lettriste (1952-1957) through the Internationale Situationniste (1957-1972). Significant attention is paid to the ways in which the Situationist International shaped the artistic and political discourse in the U.S. and the U.K. from the 1970s onwards, with the likes of King Mob, Black Mask, Processed World, Upshot (John Zerzan), the London Psychogeographical Association, or Tom Vague – to name a few. The archive also shows particular strength in Lettrist and Situationist cinema.

The archive was exhibited at the Lily Library at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) as part of the Wounded Galaxies – Beneath the Paving Stones, the Beach symposium and festival in 2018. Individual items have also been featured in Geneva’s MAMCO (Die Welt als Labyrinth) and Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (The Most Dangerous Game), also in 2018.

The archive is currently located in Mountain View, CA and is accessible free of charge, by appointment. Hundreds of unique or otherwise unusual items have been digitized and are shared through a dedicated blog: https://situationnisteblog.wordpress.com/. The archive is also part of the Public Collectors, a project to “make available cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible” (http://publiccollectors.org/SituationnisteCollection.html)

About the archivist

Mehdi El Hajoui has been researching and collecting the Internationale Situationniste and its aftermath for the last decade. He has spoken about the topic at Princeton University, Indiana University – Bloomington, the Philobiblon club of Philadelphia, and the Red Victorian in San Francisco, CA. Mehdi was the winner of the Jay I. Kislak Foundation Student Book Collecting Competition in 2010, and he completed the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) in 2015. He is a graduate of Harvard University.

La Conspiration Dépressionniste, Volumes I-V [2009].

[La Conspiration Depréssionniste] La Conspiration Dépressionniste Volumes I-V (2003-2008). Montreal: Moult Editions / Lux Editeur, 2009. 222 p.; ill.; 31 x 14 cm.; ill. tan wrappers with text in black.

Reprints the first 5 issues of the French-Canadian underground zine La Conspiration Depréssionniste (Trans: the Depressionist Conspiration), originally issued between 2003 and 2008 in 200 (issue #1) to 525 (issue #5) copies. Also includes other ephemeral publications by the group, such as Cahiers 76439 and Bulletin Dépressionniste 1. Three additional issues of La Conspiration Depréssionniste have since been published, and are available at Le Pressier.

La Conspiration Depréssionniste is the work of a small group: Simon-Pierre Beaudet, Jean-Sebastien Coté, Matthieu Gauthier, Yannick Lacroix, Jasmin Miville-Allard and Grégory Sadetsky are members of the editorial committee, with occasional or regular contributions by several others. The periodical takes its name from the group’s belief that late capitalism deliberately imposes an ugly, unassuming landscapes as a way to control the masses. A depressing environment, they theorize, is a way to inject feelings of boredom and resignation into the working class. The depressionist conspiration, then, is the (not-so-secret) attempt to preemptively quash revolutionary aspirations through grey, monotonous urban/suburban landscapes and architecture. The writing is mordant, when not outright scandalous. 

The Situationist influence is clear. In a recent article « L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire » : réappropriation des discours lettriste et situationniste dans la revue « La Conspiration dépressionniste » (2003-2011)Guillaume Bellehumeur demonstrates that “the Québécois journal ‘La Conspiration dépressionniste‘ appropriates the concept of ”détournement” as theorized by the Situationist International in the 1960’s, by employing it on the ideas of the very group who initiated the practice. Furthermore, it explains that the Conspiration forges the notion of ”dépressionnisme” using Guy Debord’s  ”spectacle”, thus embodying its paroxysm. Finally, building on a comparative analysis of two Essais de description psychogéographique, the paper comments at length on where the theories of both groups most predominantly overlap – namely urbanism”. 

We locate 5 OCLC copies.


 

Bibliography

Bellehumeur, Guillaume. « L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire » : réappropriation des discours lettriste et situationniste dans la revue « La Conspiration dépressionniste » (2003-2011). in @nalyses. Revue des littératures franco-canadiennes et québécoise, v13 n2 (20180817): 10-38.

Simon-Pierre Beaudet et al. La conspiration dépressionniste, volumes I-V, 2003-2008. in Recherches sociographiques, v51 n3 (2010): 503.


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