from Guy Debord

To Constant
20 May [19]59
Dear Constant:

I believe that you are quite right to send me back to the Report [on the Construction of Situations] by replacing "poetry" with "painting."[1]

Pinot's exhibition was obviously a reactionary buffoonery. That is to say, [Rene] Drouin played his game quite well and Pinot neither knew how nor wanted to oppose it.

Of course, this exhibition did not represent the [situationist] movement, and fortunately [Asger] Jorn was firm in refusing, as I did, the publication of a situationist tract concerning these 2 exhibitions of paintings.[2] The question now, where [Willem] Sandberg is concerned, is the exhibition of Pinot's paintings at the Stedelijk Museum in a framework that we have constructed. As I said to Alberts, who came by here on Sunday, such an exhibition could be an interesting pretext for us if we control the setting [mise en scene] and if we have the occasion to execute a very large situationist action in Amsterdam on the same day (with derives, etc.). In case these conditions can not be met, we must openly be opposed to these out-of-date games.

The most serious deficiency was that of Pinot, in his practical attitude towards the Parisian public. He more or less consciously accepted the role of a very ordinary artist recognized by his peers (by contrast, the exhibition of detourned paintings by Jorn[3] was, I believe, a very rough break from this milieu -- without wanting to exaggerate the objective value of this break. . . . ).

Yesterday, I was obliged to refuse to receive three painters from Berlin, who were "interested in situationism" and whom Pinot had brought to me so that they could be enlisted as soon as possible! My refusal created an atrocious scandal and the fury of Pinot was truly beautiful to see.

Jorn was been in Italy for 8 days -- which leaves Pinot to himself and free to collect stupidities. Heinz Hoefl is here for 3 or 4 days. I was very happy to meet Alberts, who is also interesting. Thank you for the 50 copies[4] -- and the soundtrack previously received.

I hope to finish my film[5] as soon as possible -- before 10 June [1959] -- and, in that case, I will immediately come to Amsterdam for the important and urgent work that we must accomplish.

Very amicably to you, Armando and Har [Oudejans].


[1] Translator: the reference is to the sentences that read: "Unitary urbanism must, for example, determine the acoustic environment as well as the distribution of different varieties of food and drink. It must include both the creation of new forms and the detournement of previous forms of architecture, urbanism, poetry and cinema."

[2] Translator: one was at the Drouin Gallery in Paris (15 April to 8 May, 1959), the other at the Van de Loo Gallery in Essen, Germany (13 May 1959).

[3] Translator: 6-28 May 1959, at the Rive Gauche Gallery in Paris.

[4] Translator: Constant's monograph, published May 1959 by the Library of Alexandria.

[5] Translator: On the Passage of a Few Persons through a Rather Brief Period of Time.

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

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