edward john matthews: “arts and politics of the situationist international 1957-1972”

Sandro Ricaldone

Arts and Politics of the Situationist International
Situating the Situationists
Lexington Books, 2021

Arts and Politics of the Situationist International contextualizes the SI within a comprehensive aesthetic and theoretical framework that integrates its concepts and practical activities with previous critical thinkers, political activists, artists, and poets. The SI belongs to a history of radical gestures and cultural practices concerned with re-imagining everyday life and overcoming alienation. This book regards the SI as a critical interdisciplinary endeavor in the history of consciousness, particularly as a moment in an ongoing western-European trajectory of aesthetic negation dating back to the early nineteenth century. The chapters search for origins of the SI in French Symbolist poetry, Dada and Surrealism, Hegelian-Marxism, and Lefebvrian social theory in an effort to provide a clearly-defined ‘something’ out of which the SI developed as an increasingly radical collective of artists, writers, and theorists.