Constructed Situations: A New History of the Situationist International (Marxism and Culture)

Constructed Situations: A New History of the Situationist International (Marxism and Culture)

Frances Stracey

Language: English

Pages: 200

ISBN: 0745335268

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Situationist International were a group of anti-authoritarian, highly cultured, revolutionary artists whose energy and enragement fundamentally shaped the revolutions of the late 1960’s, most famously in Paris in May ‘68. They took on their shoulders the history of the workers’ struggle, saw that it had been corrupted by authoritarianism and transformed it, with influences incorporating the avant-garde via Dada and Surrealism. They were not Marxologists, defenders of the faith. Marxism came back to life in their raging analyses, the use of the ‘spectacle’ and at the heart of the project was the idea of the constructed situation.

This book by Frances Stracey offers itself up as the ‘first historiography of constructed situations’. Within it are new insights into the movement, and with them, a sense of relevance to political situations and practice today. As an archivist, Stracey uncovered new documents which, amongst other things, revealed how the SI related to representations of sexuality; and is able to discuss whether they could be considered as feminists or not. She also looked at their famous motto ‘Never Work’ and again shows how alienated labour is even more relevant to us today.

Constructed Situations is not a history of celebrated personalities, or cultural influences, or political circumstances. It is instead an open door to one of the most influential art movements in modern history, and an invitation for us to reclaim inspiration from this ubiquitous movement.

Art's Agency and Art History

Inventing Falsehood, Making Truth: Vico and Neapolitan Painting (Essays in the Arts)

Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage

Collections Management (Leicester Readers in Museum Studies)

Art, Self and Knowledge





















allegiance to a single doctrine or class formation, this automatically consigns you to the category of the feeble-minded and easily led. It is this type of pejorative and containerized thinking that leads the likes of Horne to characterize Watts in terms of a lumpenproletariat revolt that undermined the proletariat.59 The SI contradicted this approach and proffered a powerful revolutionary potential to the lumpenproletariat. They were understood as the marginalized and outlawed of the

and the have-nots, but also a gender division between working men, who were expected to provide these goods, and their non-working wives who wanted them. For the SI, everybody – male, female or otherwise – was subjected to the alienating conditions of the society of the spectacle. This was characterized in a precocious text by Ivan Chtcheglov dating from 1953, ‘Formulary for a New Urbanism’, which was also published in the first issue of internationale situationniste under his alias Gilles

in Munich, 1959 3.1 Guy Debord, Directive No. 2 [‘RÉALISATION DE LA PHILOSOPHIE’], 1963 3.2 J.V. Martin, 2h[ours] 15[minutes] after the Start of the Third World War, from ‘Thermonuclear Maps’ series, 1963 3.3 Michèle Bernstein, Victory of the Commune of Paris, from ‘Victory’ series, 1963 (detail) 4.1 ‘CRITIQUE DE L’URBANISME (Supermarket à Los Angeles, août 1965)’ from internationale situationniste, issue 10, 1966 4.2 ‘PLAYING WITH RIFLED CASH REGISTER’ from internationale

dissolution of the group in 1972, Debord and Gianfranco Sanguinetti reflected on its past interventions and various schisms in their book The Veritable Split in the International, recounting successes and explaining failures, but also proffering an appraisal of the limits of contemporary ‘pro-Situ’ formations.2 Their main objections were to those who had taken up various Situationist ideas and methods, but in a purely academic fashion, merely contemplating their function rather than putting them

survive the course of history, I do hope that it will provide a robust model for further and future examinations of the SI’s lessons. And as these practices inevitably age with this book, I hope my considerations will offer at least a useful reflection on the historical moment in which I am writing. Digital resistance I have selected forms of resistance within the electronic space or virtual worlds of computers or computer networks, first, because this presents types of image-production beyond

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