from Guy Debord

To Constant
Friday 25 September [1959]
Dear Constant:

Thank you very much for the photos. They are perfect. Thank Har [Oudejans] for me.

I hope that you will soon have the assurance that you can undertake the construction of the tower. I await this as a point of departure for a campaign among the situationists to encourage construction -- or at least [the use of] models. A single realization, even a very summary one, would give much greater allure to the reality of discussions about possible architectures.[1]

I am quite happy that Har has promised a text on urbanism. I remind you that, for this text, as for yours, I will need to have the manuscripts before 15 October. (And the soonest possible before that. Make an effort.)

We are agreed about the Essen exhibition.[2] But this is precisely one of the risks -- even one of the negative obligations of our current action. Once again, it is for us to compensate and surpass this by a mass of truly new theoretical and practical contributions, radically placed on the cultural terrain of the future. [Asger] Jorn himself is very discreet in the galleries on his relations with the SI, because he knows that we do not look for this sort of publicity -- which we can not, moreover, entirely reject, since it is one of the aspects of our current murky position and mixes together past and new ambitions. And the galleries are especially horrified by the SI and avoid mentioning its name as much as possible: this is very good. Van de Loo [of Essen, Germany] is perhaps the most dangerous, because he is the most "intelligent" and "advanced" of the dealers in paintings with whom some of us do business. But see in the attached invitation[3] that the case of Van de Loo remains quite isolated.

Nevertheless, we also have to protect ourselves from the dangerous Sandberg-Marinotti trust, of which I spoke to you in my most recent letter.[4] It seems, moreover, that their goals are quite different: [Willem] Sandberg wants to present a scandalous, innovative movement (and he will try to officially tie it to COBRA) -- the rest is up to us. Marinotti, on the other hand, is absolutely opposed to scandal and any "movement" in general. He only wants to buy Jorn -- and no doubt the industrial painting of the innocent Gallizio. It thus appears that Marinotti (Gallizio dixit)[5] would like "to eliminate" me (because of the "Report [on the Construction of Situations]") and, of course, any organized movement. This is very comical, and can only serve to eliminate others, dismissed to polish the bottles of Marinotti-Drouin and other patrons. I believe that Jorn has well understood the Marinotti story. Gallizio perhaps less so -- or he pretends not to understand. Appel seems the common pawn of all of these players. These would be the heroes of the "situationism" of Comrade Marinotti! Thus, I insist on the urgent publication of Potlatch #2, with the anticipated article on COBRA.

Quite amicably,

[1] Translator: note how this sentence is rendered in Mark Wigley's Constant's New Babylon (1998): "[...] one single realization, even very summary, would give a great illusion of reality to the discussions of possible architectures."

[2] Constant, Konstruktionen und Modelle, which took place 9 January 1960 at the Van de Loo Gallery [in Essen, Germany].

[3] Translator: no text attached here in the Fayard edition.

[4] Translator: see letter dated 22 September 1959.

[5] Translator: Latin for "Gallizio says so."

(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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