“In 1959 Jacqueline de Jong became involved with Danish artist Asger Jorn. Through him she became involved with the Gruppe Spur, the German section of the Internationale Situationniste. Meeting Guy Debord in 1960 in Amsterdam.
Jacqueline de Jong had in 1958 become acquainted with the artist Constant and other Dutch members of the I.S. – Armando and the architect Har Oudejans – while working for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. From 1957 until 1962 the role of the artists in the I.S. was of great significance, particularly Jorn and Constant, the Belgian Maurice Wijckaert, the Italian Pinot Gallizio, German “Gruppe Spur”, Jacqueline de Jong, the Brits Ralph Romney and Gordon Fazekerly, and the Scandinaians Ansgar Eelde, J.J. Thorsen, Jørgen Nash.
In 1960, there was a conflict between Debord and the Dutch section after being expelled, Debord to write to her: “La Hollande est à vous”.
In Paris, in February 1962, Jacqueline de Jong was herself expelled after defending the Gruppe Spur. Who had been expelled earlier. In May that year she launched the magazine The Situationist Times. The first two issues were edited with Noel Arnaud. The launch of the Magazine had been announced and agreed upon at a meeting of the I.S. in Brussels the previous year. The students uprising in Paris May 1968 was supported by Jacqueline de Jong with posters.”
Selected Subject Headings
- Antinuclear movement
- Art, Scandinavian
- Cannibalism - New Guinea
- Freedom of speech - Germany
- Gruppe SPUR - trials, litigations, etc.
- Luxury - social aspects
- Möbius strip
- Overpopulation - prevention
- Sand craft - Vanuatu
- Symposium Spatial Européen (2nd: 1962: Paris)
- Quantum theory
- Witchcraft - France
If one were to read current historical accounts of the Internationale Situationniste, it would appear that when it was taking place Planet Europe was only inhabited by heterogametic beings; this is, a political and artistic male universe; a universe now being glossed over by its heterogametic mirror, Planet United States; in this case an artistic and, mostly, academic universe.
We find this odd, as if the revolutionary claims assigned to this hybrid and tumultuous movement were a "critique of everyday life" and a wish to détourner "towards subversive viewings, readings, and situations," how come the role of Jaqueline de Jong and her Situationist times is plainly absent from these historizitations?
Another expulsion? Another oversight? Or shall we consider it just footnote material, unable to compete with the shadows of the XY spectacular figures? Expulsion, murder, suicide.The Situationist times was Jacqueline de Jong's enaction of her situation, one in which rather than proclaiming, stating, critiquing, and expelling, she was living and thinking, on her own and with others; and publishing those results, internationally. No big claims were made, but rather a political engagement that was an enaction of a life that refused to take orders, and wasn't afraid to talk back to the self-assigned headmasters.
A fascinating compendium of rhizomatic thought, a printed dérive including quotes, political documents, and images, to peruse, to look at and to read the 6 issues of The Situationist Times would nuance and enlighten our perceptions about this convoluted moment in Western societies, and in particular, this international attempt at figuring out how to continue to be artistically and politically involved under a totalizing economic system.
To read about the Gruppe SPUR and its repression from the German government alongside pages documenting the Situationist internal strife cannot but shed light on the complexities of political action, now being tested again in our hyper-mediated recessional times.
But not all were internal struggles.
For example, the Times also included addresses to the then United Nations' Secretary General, Buddhist U Thant, some pages away from a study on Whitehead's organic philosophy in relation to quantum physics; all these interspersed with poetry, art, and scientific notes that present to us a more complex perspective on what is currently been marketed as "Situationism."
We'd also like to note that one should not forget that this Situationist embrace of the "right to laziness" or the "politics of leisure" were the privileges of the affluent Northern European societies, and their bohemian offspring; those privileges were not equally shared by all, especially the colonial subjects of those same societies.
To bring back Jacqueline de Jong's Situationist times cannot but buttress our believe that from those nostalgically mourned times, the political 60s, two essential world revolutions came about: that of women's liberation and that of the world decolonization. Aware of what remains to be done, to keep ignoring all that has been achieved and the beings who made it possible could be interpreted as willful ignorance, a repressive stance not far away from conservative calls to return to order.
To avoid that, we bring back the undead. Generative zombies.
To peruse the indexed contents of Situationist times, please log into the database.
Jacqueline de Jong's website.
"1957a. [Situationist International]." In: Art since 1900: modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism. Ed. by Hal Foster et al. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2007. Vol. 2: 391-397.
One exception would be the following book, dedicated to Jong: J.U.P.Situationistinnen und andere. Berlin: b-books, 2001; also McKenzie Wark. 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International. New York: Princeton University Press, 2008.
Guy Debord. Considerations on the assassination of Gérard Lebovici. Los Angeles: TamTam Books, 2001.
"[We want to steer clear of Parisian problems of position at least until such time as these problems have been clarified to the point where they become amenable to systematic and rational discussion...]," The Situationist times (Hengelo), no. 2 (September 1962): 61.
Jacqueline de Jong et al. "Critique on the political practise [sic] of detournement," The Situationist times (Hengelo), no. 1 (May 1962): [43-59].
In Situationistinnen und andere artist Renée Green speculates in her foreword about the possibility of Billy Holiday or Angela Y. Davis on a dérive around Paris during the late 1950s. She quotes from James Baldwin's No name on that street:
"Everyone in Paris, in those years, who was not, resoundingly, from the north of Europe was suspected of being Algerian; and the police were on every street corner, sometimes armed with machine guns. Turks, Greeks, Spaniards, Jews, Italians, American blacks, and Frenchmen from Marseilles, or Nice, were all under constant harassment, and we never know how many people having not the remotest connection with Algeria were thrown into prison, or murdered, as it were, by accident."