Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Scritti Politti answers the Situationists

Inspired by the Sex Pistols, Green Gartside formed the band Scritti Politti while studying art at Leeds Polytechnic. Moving to a squat in Camden Town, the band released their first single “Skank Bloc Bologna” in 1978. Before transitioning the group to a pure pop outfit with several chart hits, Green produced a number of songs referencing leftist political theory and post-structural thought.

One of the finest of these is “The 'Sweetest Girl'”, released October 1981 on Rough Trade. I have just made a discovery that perhaps has gone unnoticed. This song is an answer record. But who asked the question?

In May 1957 artist Asger Jorn produced the mixed media book Fin de Copenhague with text by Guy Debord, who was credited as “technical adviser for d├ętournement.” This pivotal work of the Situationist movement was produced in an edition of 200, but has been reproduced at least twice since. The content consists of collages made from cut-up newspaper advertising, splattered paint, and cryptic, often ironic, statements.

The final page is reproduced below:

And here is Green's answer, which I have set in like manner. Click through for larger images in both cases.


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