from Guy Debord

To Rudi Renson
[21 June 1963]
Dear Rudi:

Read this letter before speaking to the people from the Exi Gallery (and see [J.V.] Martin as soon as possible).

The ambiance of the gallery is quite far from being amicable and understanding (contrary to what we had believed) and all the situationists must conduct themselves as coldly as possible with those responsible for this gallery. It was difficult to get what we wanted.

Lindhart[2] is certainly a cunt. A second- or third-rate snob (not even a first-rate snob who immediately understands his interest in us). He isn't at all assured that the SI [Situationist International] represents artistic -- or other -- values of the first rank. He only wants to compete with a richer gallery (Westing) where everything is based upon ex-situationists (Spur) or ex-Nashists who weren't ever situationists and who only speak of them! And yet Lindhart prefers to exhibit Nashist sub-products. As he is still poor, he is obliged to provisionally "be satisfied" with the original violence. Thus, he is to be mistreated the moment he shows his reformist and unsophisticated aggressivity.

Ampti is more intelligent and sympathetic. But he takes very confused positions. He is very close to Lindhart, which is a fact that harms him.

In this atmosphere of hostility and snobbery, we don't think that the collages (which would have been good for a more spontaneous and free exposition) will give ammunition to us, but, rather, to the enemy (easy for them to attack the point where we produce a shocking effect that is not quite irrefutably new, since they fear and detest exactly the new side of this exposition).

As Lindhart expects -- we do, too -- 5 paintings by Jan [Strijbosch] that have already been listed in the catalogue, and as he richly deserves being treated with the most insolent impertinence, our only explanation of this affair is that Jan's paintings didn't arrive in time. And adding: "[This is] unimportant; the gallery is quite mediocre from the point of view of sales; what interests us is the catalogue, which is SI propaganda: and the entirety of the works shown will certainly be sold in Paris and Munich. . . ." Etc., you get the idea.

Besides, this is true, of course. And Jan already has here -- I don't know why! -- an excellent reputation as a painter, which won't be weakened, but will be reinforced by the catalogue (cf. the theses of Attila [Kotanyi] on the use of our "anti-situationist" art). In case you have already spoken of these expedited collages, you can discover, with the maximum of insolence, a misunderstanding: the collages were intended for another SI exposition, but you confused them with the paintings remaining in Holland, etc.

Naturally, if Jan is with you, the even more pressing recommendation is for him -- since he is one of the announced exhibitors -- to treat the Exi Gallery haughtily and to entirely support Martin, to whom everyone who wants to deal with the SI in this country must come. Lindhart has already tried to manoeuvre a little with us, to see if we truly support our friends. It is necessary to complete his education on this question.

We must now return to Paris. We think that, despite the slight deficiencies in the sales of the paintings, this exposition will be of considerable importance.

As far as taking a vacation in Denmark, ask Martin to show you the factory of modern art in Herning.

Cordially yours. See you soon.

[1] Note added by Guy Debord: "End of June [19]63. Letter left at J.V. Martin's place. Rudi was turned back at the border," due to the scandal provoked by the RSG-6 exposition, which all of the Danish press echoed (cf. I.S. [Internationale Situationniste] #9, p, 33).

[2] Lindhart, head of the Exi Gallery in Odense.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 2, 1960-1964. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2005.)

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