The Wisdom of Malcolm MacLaren

Malcolm MacLaren, foppish punk architect provocateur probably has more to do with the British interest in Situationism and psychogeography than anybody else. His co-opting of the posture and imagery of detournement gave Punk its intellectual edge – after all wasn’t punk just detourned Rock and Roll? The first time I encountered the word ‘situationism’ was in the pages of the NME and Melody Maker in the mid-80s in the articles of journalists raised on punk. So it was nice to see that MacLaren still has something to say in this vein in his dotage living out a bourgeois dream, elegantly slumming in Paris:

“We are at an end of the culture of desires; we may be going back to a culture of necessity
Real magic is found in flamboyant, provocative failure rather than benign success
Turn left, if you’re supposed to turn right; go through any door that you’re not supposed to enter – it’s the only way to fight your way through to any kind of authentic feeling in a world beset by fakery”
– Malcolm Maclaren, extrapolated from The Observer magazine 16.11.08


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