from Guy Debord

To Piero Simondo[1]
Monday [3 December 1956]
Dear Piero:

We are happy that the exhibition at Turin[2] can be held. But it is the 10th (still five days shorter than the anticipated duration). Here [in France] everyone is without money. We have tried to leave [for Alba, Italy] by car, at four [am]. But we weren’t able to find sufficient gasoline, because the restrictions have begun[3] and clandestine distribution hasn’t been organized.

Here’s what we can do.

One of us (Asger [Jorn] perhaps) will come to Alba Saturday evening; he will bring to you 8 or 10 paintings[4] for the exhibition and a recording of around an hour long, for the conference. But get in advance the several thousand lira that the organizers want to pay.

You must absolutely procure a tape player to play our recording.[5] Sunday, you must also display the best you can the paintings that we’ll send you. For the “lettrist” paintings, it is important to hang besides them their titles, which are very long (they will be written on the reverse side, and we will send cards with the titles typed up). Attached is the text to print as the invitation and a document for the exhibition. I hope that you have the time. We ourselves have had difficulties preparing the exhibition in Brussels,[6] because we must also write the contents of a special issue of the journal published by “Taptoe.”

And it is almost certain that we will have an exposition in Paris on 15 March [1957].

Indeed, the affairs of the Bauhaus[7] are going well, but a little too quickly for our current means. The question of the massive traveling across Europe is difficult. Each time, we must manage to do the maximum with what we can bring together. For example, if our exposition in Paris can be made certain, I believe that your presence would be more useful [there] than in Brussels. Naturally, if you could all come, that would be even better.

In sum, as for Turin, you can count on, at minimum, what I have just mentioned. And perhaps, if things go well, a little more.

Quite amicably to you all. And thanks again for the reception at Alba.[8]


Notes on the composition of the text[9]

1. Each phrase must be in a different font (especially the height, the size, of the words).

2. The last phrase (THIS IS THE FINAL STRUGGLE) must be in very large print, in the “poster” style.

3. Make a perfect framework with the invitation, which turns around the [main] text. Naturally, fill in the places and dates – delete or add names in the list of participants.

4. Translate quickly into Italian and print with one side in French, the other in Italian.

5. Send us a certain number of copies that we will distribute in Paris.

[1] Translator: a future founding member of the Situationist International.

[2] Manifestations in favor of Unitary Urbanism (10-15 December 1956).

[3] Following the closure of the Suez canal in November 1956.

[4] Three paintings by Guy Debord, three by Gil J Wolman, and five by Asger Jorn (customs certificate dated 6 December 1956).

[5] History of the Lettrist International (never publicly released).

[6] Exhibition planned for February 1957 at the Taptoe Gallery.

[7] International Movement for an Imaginist Bauhaus, founded in 1953 by Asger Jorn in Villars, Switzerland, in reaction to the Bauhaus and the Hochschule fur Gestaltung founded in Ulm by Max Bill. The Imaginist Bauhaus also included the painters Giusseppe Gallizio and Piero Simondo, who joined in 1955.

[8] Translator: Guy Debord was there for several days beginning 21 November 1956.

[9] Text for the tract distributed on the occasion of the Turin manifestation (cf. Guy Debord, Oeuvres, Gallimard, 2006, p. 270).

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol "0": Septembre 1951 - Juillet 1957: Complete des "lettres retrouvees" et d l'index general des noms cites by Librairie Artheme Fayard, October 2010. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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