Seen thus, the concept of resistance implicit in detournement may be less effective than a "hypertrophic" forward escape through those very technologies that the Situationists
would presumably have scorned.
SYLVERE LOTRINGER: In the years that preceded May 1968, the Situationists
had an uprising in mind, but it had happened one century before.
Today, this question of intellectual priority seems obscure, but there can be little doubt that the Situationists
were in large measure responsible for the currency of these ideas in 1968.
Elizabeth Mangini's "Slant" on arte povera, the Situationists
, and politics [Artforum, November 2007] seems to have missed a trick or two.
The difference is that the Romantics held that art could transform life; for the Situationists
, only a political revolution could effect what bourgeois, commodified art was powerless to do.
Debord not only speaks about the spectacle--he himself reads the incisive voice-over that occupies most of the sound track--but redirects the spectacle's own weapons against it, a strategy the Situationists
For the Situationists
and for leftist intellectuals of postwar France, it became a favored point of reference--though neither acquiesced to the submission of the individual to the state or to the ineluctable force of history that Hegel coded into it.
While the curators have made significant efforts to avoid typical reductionist pitfalls, this show of 320 works remains yet another exhibition that invokes the Situationist
project but includes only the usual suspects (like Niki de Saint-Phalle and Yves Klein), some of whom were harshly critiqued by the Situationists
IN 1968 HENRI LEFEBVRE, former fellow traveler of the Situationists
and occasional muse to the students of the May uprisings in Paris, wrote in Everyday Life in the Modern World, "A pure (formal) space defines the world of terror.
In a certain sense the Corb-Dali combination is not as singular as it might seem: A Constructivist-Surrealist dialectic was at the heart of the historical avantgarde, and its (impossible) resolution was a partial project of several neo-avant-gardes--from the Imaginist Bauhaus and the Situationists
, through Archigram and Price, to Koolhaas and OMA.
Alfano has done an admirable job of demonstrating why virtue theorists have been on the proverbial ropes, given what we have learned from psychology over the last few decades, but neither he nor the other situationists
whose work he champions have delivered the knockout punch.
David Pinder writes about the street as a utopian space in modernism, discussing such themes as the critique of Corbusier's verticality by the Situationists
, the Situationists
' notion of derive, and the politics of street protest.