RUMNEY, Ralph. The Leaning Tower of Venice, Pt. 1. (in ARK 24: The Journal of the Royal College of Art). London, Autumn 1959. ca. 64 p. [48 numbered]; 21.5 x 27 cm.; ill. Oranger cover with holes (Fontana)

RUMNEY, Ralph. The Leaning Tower of Venice, Pt. 2. (in ARK 25: The Journal of the Royal College of Art). London, Spring 1960. ca. 64 p. [48 numbered]; 21.5 x 27 cm.; ill. B&W wrappers with text in black

RUMNEY, Ralph. The Leaning Tower of Venice, Pt. 3. (in ARK 26: The Journal of the Royal College of Art). London, Summer 1960. ca. 64 p. [52 numbered]; 21.5 x 27 cm.; ill. Silver wrappers with text in black

Ralph Rumney’s The Leaning Tower of Venice is the account of the author’s psychogeographic journey through La Serenissima. It consists of 128 unique photographs (shot by Rumney) overlaid with text, leveraging the technique of collage and detournement.

Initially, the innovative work was to be published in the first issue of Internationale Situationniste in 1958. However, Rumney missed the editorial deadline (see Correspondence with Debord from March 1958) which ultimately led to his exclusion from the Situationist International. The latter was announced in the inaugural issue of the SI’s journal, through a ‘fake obituary’ and account of the project’s ‘failure’ entitled “Venice has vanquished Ralph Rumney”Venice has vanquished Ralph Rumney”.

It took over 40 years for this important work to be published in book form. Silverbridge issued a limited edition of The Leaning Tower of Venice in 2002. The book is based on the photographs taken at the exhibition On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International, 1957-72, held at the ICA, London, in 1989.

The Museum del Camminare in Venice has made the full text (high-quality scans) available here.

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