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Asger Jorn

ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE

Guy Debord and Asger Jorn were the key co-founders of the Situationist International (1957). Despite significant differences in style and personality, the two were close collaborators at that time and remained close personal friends until Jorn’s death in 1973, long after Jorn had left the SI.

One of the first projects of the newly formed SI was the publication of a large French-language collection of Asger Jorn’s texts from the immediately preceding period: “Pour la Forme: ébauche d’une méthodologie des arts” (1958). This collection was reprinted by Éditions Allia and is still in print, but up till now very few of Jorn’s writings have been available in English.

Now, at long last, there is a comprehensive English-language collection of Jorn’s writings:

FRATERNITÉ AVANT TOUT:
ASGER JORN’S WRITINGS ON ART AND ARCHITECTURE, 1938-1958
Edited by Ruth Baumeister
Translated by Paul Larkin and Ken Knabb
Published by “010” (Rotterdam)
http://www.010.nl/catalogue/book.php?id=760

Most of this new collection consists of articles translated from the Danish and Swedish by Paul Larkin, but it also includes four articles from “Pour la Forme” translated from the French by Ken Knabb. Excerpts from these latter articles are online at: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/asger-jorn/index.htm

Those excerpts provide just a little taste of the richness and liveliness of Jorn’s ideas and explorations. I encourage you to get Baumeister’s book if you are interested in further exploring this provocative yet genial pioneer of the interface between cultural and political radicalism.

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The Bureau of Public Secrets website features writings by Ken Knabb, Knabb’s translations from the Situationist International, and the Rexroth Archive (texts by and about the great writer and social critic Kenneth Rexroth).

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BUREAU OF PUBLIC SECRETS
POB 1044, Berkeley CA 94701, USA
http://www.bopsecrets.org

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