The aesthetical groups their collective burst and their individual ruptures. It is their life. After the time of union of the Free Shooters*
Retrospecively on the discovery of their essential direction which on their watch with each eye for a new battle, to swiften the spirit and renew the avant-garde.
The crisis of Lettrism has been opened for a few years. The partial splintering has already produced: on the level of general activity; in 1952, The Lettrist International (absorbed today into the Situationist International), in 1953 the Externist Movement (since disappeared): in 1954, the journal “En Marge”. On the aesthetic level, in March 1953, Dufrene, after a position taken in No 5 Revolt of Youth (“half turn left for an automatic writing”) has realised a recital of Ultra-Lettrist cri-rhythme at the gallery: “L’Escalier”, in October 1955.
The last collective manifestation of the Lettrist group was produced in 1956. After the Hypergraphic exhibition at the gallery “Prismes” it was the manifestations at the Night of Poetry and the Festival of Avant-Garde Art at Marseille. The end of the year achieved the split. Lemaitre ceased issuing the magazine “The Youth Front”. Isou agreed to this commercial operation.
All appears to pass today as ten coexisting tendencies. One with Isou and a few followers, in whom the loss of speed is increasing. Anxious material replaced the whims of creativity, armament at insignificance and erasure. Perhaps the foundational cause for the rot is the exhaustion of the initial impulsions not renewed and exploited, for creating change, on the commercial plan and public notoriety.
The other tendencies are with the Free Shooters whether it be the separate creators, free or more or less Lettrism and “persuing” their solo search as it in the case of Dufrêne and Estivals, whether parallel creators who know Lettrism but are not always part of it, as is the case with Villeglé …
It is remarkable that their works are totally different in aspects, on the points they enter the same as Lettrism (in the broad sence) in the presentation of new forms, especially because it is more elaborated. It is for this reason that they are considered ULTRA LETTRISTS
translators note Note:
* I have translated this term but the original has a special meaning in french which goes with the military analogies made byt he writers: (from wikipedia: Francs-tireurs (pronounced: [fʁɑ̃.ti.ʁœʁ], French for "free shooters") was a term for irregular military applied to formations deployed by France during the early stages of the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). The term was revived and used by partisans to name two major French Resistance movements set up to fight against the Germans during World War II. )
INTRODUCTION TO ULTRA LETTRISM
- Written by CLASS