The dance that everybody forgot

Summer 1987

The Paris Commune is examined from the perspective of the Situationist movement of the mid-twentieth century. The relationship between art and revolutionary impulses is considered and a Marxist interpretation of the Commune as the expression of capitalism overreaching itself is offered. The Commune is seen as the temporary victory of festival over boredom, and as a forum for the invention of ‘protean pop culture’. Hausmann, conversely, is seen as a hero of the capitalist project and the restoration of order, the imposition of town planning as an alternative to spontaneous anarchy. References to the writings of T. J. Clark and the music of the Sex Pistols bring the historical context up to date.

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