from Guy Debord

To Constant
Thursday 26 November [19]59
Dear Constant:

I return from Munich, where I went looking for at least some of the money for the [Internationale Situationniste] journal -- which will be published in two weeks at the latest and will satisfy you, I believe.

I have met, together, [Heinz] Hoefl and [Hans-Peter] Zimmer -- I didn't have the time to see more of them nor to see them again.

Here is the conjuncture at Munich:

The Germans are very divided. Hofl, who appears the closest to us, reproached all of the "Spurists" for their narrowly pictural and plastic activity, but principally attacked [Heimrad] Prem, whom he considers to be a simple artistic arriviste (I advised Hofl to work more directly with us. He questioned me about the diverse tendencies in the SI. I said that [Pinot] Gallizio, in my opinion, represents our "right wing" with more virtuosity than Spur).

Zimmer is the closest to Hofl, and no doubt with us, as well. But his critiques of Prem are much more amicable in form and moderate in tone: he reproaches Prem for his uniquely pictural preoccupations -- whereas Zimmer wants a unitary art (that is to say, for the moment: a painting can integrate itself into the rest). I believe that he is still at the "pre-Alba" stage of the [International Movement for an] Imaginist Bauhaus, but can go much further.

Both agree on the theoretical and practical incapacity of the Spur Group to publish a journal in German. I'm the one who -- easily -- proved this to them. Thus, this problem is postponned, fortunately.

[Erwin] Eisch stays in Italy with Gallizio. With the exception of Eisch, the people of Spur seem to see Gallizio with irony and pity: they are now persuaded that the tract Difendiamo la liberta[1] is a stupidity that Pinot pushed on them because everyone has told them that the Cuixard incident was invented. In fact, I, like Hofl, deplore this situationist intervention over the list of winners of a prize for painting. But the harm is done. If the "political" pretext [of the tract] now reveals itself to be false, this would be distressing. But Jorn tends to think that the story is true (although unfortunately expanded upon by Pinot); and one sees whose interests are served when art critics and dealers in paintings create silence around something.

I have also seen an exhibition by Sturm-Zimmer-Prem; I found it quite pitiful, even for Munich. Fischer was also there, with objects in the style of Roel d'Haese. In this context, they have published a long text that I'm sending you by the same courrier. Its translation would interest me (can you do it?) Jorn is not happy with the text, but I cannot wait forever for a translation of his part. Perhaps a theoretical journal from the brave "Spurists" -- six months after our collective conference -- is an occasion to put them back in their place?

Van de Loo is very likable. I saw him very quickly because I had to go to another meeting the next instant. He spoke to me of your exhibition at Essen (what date, in fact?) He said that he has plans to show "little pieces" only. I think that it will be necessary to add at least one or two of the large models (the most significant, for example, the 2 that were reproduced in Internationale Situationniste #3) to support our urbanist perspectives in Germany, where they are totally unknown and even blurred by Spur. Likewise, would it be possible for you to print in your [Van de Loo] catalogue my presentation,[2] which was not used in Holland? I doubt that Van de Loo would be opposed: it is at least 2 times shorter than the text of the Spur catalogue. It restores a few of our positions, and it would be more in its effective place there than in a book about urbanism.

Do the best. See you soon. Amicably,

P.S. Very interesting confirmation of the covered city! I know about the Indians[3] of "potlatch."[4] Through this pre-merchant form of property exchange, there originated a form of the depreciation of goods in the pursuit of prestige. And the demonstration of the dissolution of modern art: one can not naturally depreciate that which one possesses perfectly.

[1] Translator: "In defense of liberty" was issued as a tract in November 1959 by Gallizio and the German section of the SI (Eisch, Fischer, Nele, Prem, Sturm and Zimmer). It concerned allegations against the Spanish painter Cuixard.

[2] Translator: see Constant and the Path of Unitary Urbanism.

[3] Of British Columbia.

[4] Word borrowed from the Chinook language and corresponding to our verb "to give."

(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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