Declaration of the German Section of the SI
on Madness

As long as society as a whole is mad, we refuse in all circumstances to let the behavior of men [sic] who want to change society be qualified as madness. In particular, we will oppose by all means the qualification of the members of the Situationist International as mad, as well as the consequences that such a qualification can involve. For modern psychiatry, the difference between reason and madness in the final analysis is only social success, and so we also absolutely refuse the qualification of "madness" with respect to every modern artist. The current psychiatric system, in theory, authorizes the internment of all artists. Confronted with this menace, all artists are in solidarity.

We publically declare that, for example, Fritz HUNDERTWASSER[1] isn't crazy, although he tries to make people believe that he is. The social game that he plays towards this end -- positive for him, at the moment -- appears modest during the internment of "hundreds" of artists. His game is based upon this internment. HUNDERTWASSER truly possesses all of his "reason"; that, one can say.

Munich, 8 September 1960
Sturm, Prem, Fischer, Zimmer, Jorn, Debord

[1] The text without doubt refers to what the newspapers of the era called the "eccentricities" of Hundertwasser: "the endless line" that he attempted to trace in a classroom at the Hamburg Academy of Beaux-Arts in 1959 (at the end of two days and two nights, the director put an end to the experiment) and the nettle soup that he prepared in Paris in 1960 and with which nearly poisoned himself (the residues from the detergeant in the washing machine that he used [as a mixing bowl] were dissolved in the soup).

Because this declaration contains the second positive allusion to Hundertwasser (the first was in Du calme! Pas d'experiences!), one can ask if there weren't contacts between [Asger] Jorn, the Spurists and the Austrian painter.

(Adopted at the IVth Conference of the Situationist International, London, 25-28 September 1960. Published in Spur #2, November 1960. Excerpted in Internationale Situationniste #5 [December 1960], p. 22. Translated by NOT BORED! June 2005 from the French version published in Archives Situationnistes: Volume 1: Documents traduits 1958-1970. Footnote by the editor of Archives Situationnistes.)

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