This volume is a revised and expanded version of a special issue of the journal October (Winter 1997) that was devoted to the work of the Situationist International (SI). The first section of the issue contained previously unpublished critical texts, and the second section contained translations of primary texts that had previously been unavailable in English. The emphasis was on the SI’s profound engagement with the art and cultural politics of their time (1957-1972), with a strong argument for their primarily political and activist stance by two former members of the group, T. J. Clark and Donald Nicholson-Smith. Guy Debord and the Situationist International supplements both sections. It reprints important, hard to find essays by Giorgio Agamben, Libero Andreotti, Jonathan Crary, Thomas Y. Levin, Greil Marcus, and Tom McDonough and doubles the number of translations of primary texts, which now encompass a broader and more representative range of the SI’s writings on culture and language. In a field still dominated by hagiography, the critical texts were selected for their willingness to confront critically the history and legacy of the SI. They examine the group within the broader framework of the historical and neo-avant-gardes and, beyond that, the postwar world in general. The translations trace the SI’s reflections on the legacy of the avant-garde in art and architecture, particularly on the linguistic and spatial significance of montage aesthetics. Many of the translated works are by Guy Debord (1932-1994), the impresario of the SI, especially known for his book The Society of the Spectacle.
The long-awaited first biography of one of the 20th-century’s greatest revolutionaries Guy Debord is the first comprehensive biography of one of the finest, but most overlooked, writers in the French language. Beginning with his participation in the student riots and occupation of the Sorbonne in May 1968, Debord’s art and activism reflected the tumultuous events of contemporary French history. Whether his medium was poetry, film, or journalism, Debord forever challenged convention and custom alike. And when his philosophy of Situationism was later adopted by Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols, Debord’s ideas reached his widest following ever. Drawing on extensive documentation, previously untranslated correspondence, interviews, tracts, and book excerpts, Guy Debord provides the reader with an abundance of material on a rare historical figure who refused all interviews and “wrote much less than most people who write but drank much more than most people who drink”. Discussed by Greil Marcus in the popular Lipstick Traces, Debord’s life and art have never been more fully explored in his historical and political context than in this book. Debord’s radical classic Society of the Spectacle inspired a generation of revolt and rightfully earned him notoriety as one of the most profound and forceful revolutionaries of modern times.
For Now is the result of film-maker Michael Almereyda’s year-long search through the Eggleston archives, a remarkable collection of heretofore unseen images spanning four decades of work by one of our seminal artists. Unusual in its concentration on family and friends, the book highlights an air of offhand intimacy, typical of Eggleston and typically surprising. Afterword by Michael Almereyda, with additional texts by Lloyd Fonvielle, Greil Marcus, Kristine McKenna and Amy Taubin.
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