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THE GROUP THAT WAS (NOT) ONE: DANIEL BUREN AND BMPT

IT IS NOT KNOWN whether Guy Debord ever commented on the activities of Daniel Buren and his companions Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni when, working collectively in 1966 and 1967 under their surnames only, they staged the most radical critique of the neo-avant-garde on the road to spectacularization.* Had he done so, he would no doubt have been the first to observe in relation to their practice something he had recognized ten years earlier in his damning commentary on the work of Yves Klein—that, under the totalizing conditions of capitalist consumption, spectacle and radical (neo-) avant-garde gestures were no longer mutually exclusive but rather increasingly complemented and reinforced each other. Buren, for his part, was well versed in the history and strategies of the Lettrist and Situationist internationals, rewarding his early interest in the theory of

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