Revolutionary alliance of European avant-garde artists, writers and poets formed at a conference in Italy in 1957 (as Internationale Situationiste or IS)

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  • Constant (Constant A. Nieuwenhuys), '[no title]' 1975-6
    Constant (Constant A. Nieuwenhuys)
    [no title] 1975-6
    Lithograph on paper
    image: 645 x 502 mm
    Presented by the Asger Jorn Foundation 1978© DACS, 2002
  • Ralph Rumney, 'The Change' 1957
    Ralph Rumney
    The Change 1957
    Oil, house paint and metal leaf on board
    support: 1524 x 1985 mm
    frame: 1582 x 2044 x 51 mm
    Purchased 1989© The estate of Ralph Rumney
  • Asger Jorn, 'Letter to my Son' 1956-7
    Asger Jorn
    Letter to my Son 1956-7
    Oil on canvas
    support: 1300 x 1955 mm
    frame: 1352 x 2007 x 59 mm
    Purchased 1984© DACS 2006

The IS developed a critique of capitalism based on a mixture of Marxism and surrealism. Leading figure of the movement Guy Debord identified consumer society as the Society of the Spectacle in his influential 1967 book of that title. In the field of culture situationists wanted to break down the division between artists and consumers and make cultural production a part of everyday life.

It combined two existing groupings, the Lettrist International and the International Union for a Pictorial Bauhaus. As well as writer and filmmaker Guy Debord, the group also prominently included the former CoBrA painter Asger Jorn, and the former CoBrA artist Constant. British artist Ralph Rumney was a co-founder of the movement.

Situationist ideas played an important role in the revolutionary Paris events of 1968. The IS was dissolved in 1972.