How did Situationism Influence Art History?


“It is rare for an art movement to be completely original. The go forward meanings of avant-garde do not mean that its movements are a tabula rasa and this is certainly true for Situationism. Spurred by many previous concepts, this artistic and political movement started emerging during the early 1960s in France and it experimented with the idea of constructing a situation – hence the name. Constructing a situation was setting up an environment favorable for the fulfillment of a particular desire. This was the main concept for all representatives of Situationism. All of the initial theories concerning the development of this movement came from an organization called Situationist International (often referred to simply as SI) – a group whose activities we shell investigate to detail in the remainder of this text. It should be noted that Situationism as an art movement did not produce too many artworks – as a matter of fact, if one somehow takes Asger Jorn and his pieces out of the Situationist equation, the movement’s output is next to none. However, Situationism is credited with providing some of the most revolutionary theories at the time, concepts that heavily impacted the art scenes for decades. Many of their game-changing ideas can still be found in today’s contemporary art. With all of that being said, we will now investigate how the Situationist International group and Situationism as a movement came to be, as well as exploring just how influential they were to art authors. … During the year of 1952, the radically left wing of the Lettrist movement, which actually included Guy Debord who will become the key founder of Situationism, broke off from Isou’s organization and formed the Letterist International, a new Paris-based collective of avant-garde artists and political theorists. This new artistic and literary movement will prove to be pivotal for Situationism as it provided the roots for what would become many of the key theories behind SI. … Detournement also emerged at this point. This was the idea of recontextualizing an existing work of art or literature in order to radically shift its meaning to a new one which had revolutionary significance. …”
WIDEWALLS
senses of cinema: Guy Debord and the Aesthetics of Cine-Sabotage
Détournement as Negation and Prelude


Isidore Isou – Hypergraphie, 1964

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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