from Guy Debord

To Constant
11 March [19]59
Dear Constant:

Bravo for the recruitment of the architects![1] Excellent. I count on Oudejans and you [at the conference of the situationists] in Munich (I received the English translation. Thank you. If you both come, are you thus among the signatories?)

I have heard nothing from "Prince Bernhard."[2] But I hope that the exhibition [in Amsterdam] will not take place at the same time as Munich (where it suffices to be free for 4 or 5 days). If it takes place afterwards, I can arrange to come to Amsterdam the day of the opening. And, moreover, we will then have the soundtrack. Thus, I might not be able to make the "conference,"[3] but I can participate in the current discussion with the architects.

As for the notes that you've asked me for, is it necessary to "draft" something, or can you make do with simple summary notes that you can utilize as you wish? (I believe that this last solution is preferable. . . .). I can send you these notes in a few days. It is also very good to publish these documents, thanks to the "Liga."[4]

Do not forget to keep for me a French translation of this and your intervention of 5 March [1959],[5] so that I can publish and cite them in the third issue of the [situationists'] journal.

I believe that all of this is good preparation -- and the only possible preparation -- for a team effort that must be the most extensive. And this year we have already sufficiently advanced to begin an effective team action (which was perfectly impossible at the moment of the Alba Congress [in 1956]).

Concerning politics, I did not say that we must mix ourselves up in the frozen political habits of today. And the SI doesn't claim to have a proper conception of revolutionary politics. I said that there is no direct dependence, but an interaction, between a new departure of the revolutionary movement (which is feeling its way at this moment in Europe, after the death throes of Stalinism) and our "artistic" action. Because the authentic revolution renders our perspectives more realistic, and our perspectives as such are, I believe, a means of struggle for the thought of an authentic revolution. This is the interest of Andre Frankin's intervention in Munich.[6]

Attached is a critique of the [situationists'] journal by an anarchist newspaper.[7] You see that we do not give the impression of being a school of painting.

Concerning Munich -- and for the relations of force that will be established at it -- I insist on the fact that it is necessary to announce your attendance (Oudejans and you) as assured -- even if by misfortune there is an obstacle at the last minite. Which won't happen, I hope.[8]


[1] A. Alberts and Har Oudejans, situationists in the Dutch section.

[2] The Prince Bernard Fund, a Dutch foundation that financed artistic projects.

[3] Translator: a tape-recorded conference at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.

[4] Liga Nieuw Beelden, a Dutch union of architects, founded in 1954, that advocated collaboration between practioners of architecture and the plastic arts.

[5] Translator: the "Resolution Against the Renovation of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange."

[6] Translator: closely associated with people in Belgium who were influenced by the French group and journal called Socialisme ou Barbarie, Andre Frankin would eventually help Guy Debord and the SI develop "a proper conception of revolutionary politics."

[7] Article by Rene Fugler, from Le Monde Libertaire for March 1959. [Translator: for more on the relationship between Le Monde Libertaire and the SI, see documents by and about Guy Bodson.]

[8] Translator: Constant did indeed atttend, but in the company of Armando, not Oudejans.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 1, 1957-1960. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! October 2005.)

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