In October 1960, the Spur group made a statement for a television show celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Deutsche Künstlerbund. One of its members, Helmut Sturm, read out a manifesto that consisted of a passionate defence of the freedom of artists as opposed to the status quo enforced by the Church and the State (Fig. 1).4 What was baffling was not Sturm’s arguments, but rather his delivery: thundering exclamations followed by short pauses that mimicked Adolf Hitler’s speeches. The group viewed this performance as a ‘sinister situationist explanation’, as it drew upon the communicative strategy defined as détournement by the Situationist International (SI), whose German section was then represented by the Spur group.5
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The Spur group on television, 1960, from left to right: Helmut Sturm, Heimrad Prem, Hans Peter Zimmer, Lothar Fischer, and Dieter Kunzelmann.