Internationale Situationniste. Adresse de l’Internationale situationniste a l’assemblée générale de l’Association internationale des critiques d’art. n.p. [Bruxelles, Belgium]: Internationale Situationniste, n.d. [12 April 1958]. 1 sheet [2 p.]; ill.; 32 x 23 cm. Black text on white stock
This incendiary leaftlet constitutes a violent attack against art critics. Released on April 12, 1958 – only two days prior to an international gathering of art critics at the world’s fair in Brussels, it is signed by A[bdelhafid] Khatib, H[ans] Platschek, W[alter] Korun, G[uy]-E[rnest] Debord, G[iuseppe] Pinot-Gallizio, and A[sger] Jorn on behalf of the Algerian, German, Belgian, French, Italian and Scandinavian sections of the Situationist International. The back of the leaflet states: “La Société sans classe a trouvé ses artistes – Vive l’Internationale Situationniste” (“Classless society has found its artists – Long live the Situationist International!”)
The content of the leaflet is partially reproduced in the first issue of Internationale Situationniste (1958), and further context on the “action in Belgium”, as it is referred to, is provided. We learn that the text of the Situationist proclamation was distributed on various ways: about 30 copies were mailed to art critics, while others were handed in personally. Some critics were reached by telephone and read all or part of the text. Finally, and perhaps most spectacularly, a group forced its way into the Press Club where the critics were being received and threw the leaflets among the audience. Another 1,000 copies of the leaflets were tossed onto sidewalks from a fifth floor window. As a result of this action, SI members were threatened with prosecution. Korun, in particular, faced some legal issues as a result. In spite (or perhaps because) of this, Debord viewed what he referred to as “the battle of Brussells” (Letter to Pinot-Gallizio, 19 April 1958) as a great success
The text of the leaflet, as well as some more detail on its history, can be found at http://debordiana.chez.com/francais/aica.htm and http://debordiana.chez.com/francais/is1.htm#action . For an English translation, see Knabb’s at http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/1.critics.htm
Scarce, with only one copy in the trade and 3 OCLC copies (Yale, the Getty Institute, and the Tate Museum), though we know an additional copy is kept at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, for a total of four known copies.