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The assasination of Guy Debord

2017

The performance provided a context of critique for the socio-political status of Europe, by being held at the European Convention Center in Luxembourg (ECCL) – the site that hosts the meetings of the Council of the European Union for three months every year. European citizens have felt for a long time politically disempowered and alienated from politics. Confidence in democracy and its institutions has been undermined, and this context of demerit constitutes a growing danger for the character of European societies. As developments of the last decade like Brexit and the rise of far-right parties are putting under question the future of Europe, fighting against the uncritical spectacularization of the public sphere appears as a matter of urgency. However, almost 60 years after the publication of Guy Debord’s seminal work 'The Society of the Spectacle' (1967), European politics seem to be dominated by the image and its manipulation. Debord’s radical beliefs, his role in the student protests of 1968, and his suicide in 1994 made him, for a long time, a rather contentious figure within European intelligentsia. Yet, as we are experiencing the rapid rise of a post-truth world dominated by spectacle, it has become increasingly hard to contest Debord’s pioneering thought. The staging of 'The Assassination of Guy Debord' at the European Convention Center highlighted those conditions of crisis. The performance functioned as a reminder of Debord's assertions through 73 readings from 'The Society of the Spectacle', which took place from the 73 front-row seats that are regularly occupied by Europe's leaders.

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