Guy Debord, filmmaker, Situationist and author of The Society of the Spectacle, called The Hamburg Theses ‘the most mysterious of all the documents that emanated from the Situationist International.’ What makes the Hamburg Theses most enigmatic, apart from the fleeting and elusive references made to them in the Situationist journal, is that they were never published — left to fade along with the memories of their ‘co-authors’. Nonetheless their significance to the group was paramount. The Theses were formulated in response to the crisis regarding the role of art and artistic practice within the group. In essence their apparent failure to appear was intended to reflect the Situationist project itself: the rejection of the fetish of objects and other forms of reified human activity beloved of capitalism. In the Hamburg Theses, then, we have the Situationist project expressed in its most concise and impossibly elusive form, making it one of the most vital works of the Situationist International.
Or, the peculiar case of the Hamburg Theses