COLLAGE KIT: SITUATIONISM
May 6th, 2020
by Morgan Healani Mein
During this strange and difficult time, I have been reminded of a particular moment in art history. Situationism as a concept was formulated in the late 1950s by European avant-garde artists and intellectuals who were inspired by earlier movements like Dada and Surrealism. They encouraged civilians to question their understanding of the capitalist world and the forces that governed it. Writing and art were used as a means of examination, providing space for reflection on the ways in which we interacted with our surroundings as well as with each other. In the modern urban landscape, what was based on authentic human connection and what had been engineered for the sake of production and revenue? Right now, I think that in a sense we have all become Situationists. We have collectively been placed in a position where we have to examine where we are and consider how we got here. We have to consider the same questions the Situationists wanted their viewers to consider.
According to The Art Story, “[In Situationism] activities like walking the city aimlessly were reimagined as statements against a society that demanded production, and maps were cut up and reassembled to facilitate wandering.” The elements I have included in this collage kit communicate my nostalgia for traveling the world but also the idea of nature as a means of discovery. I have found it quite beautiful that in a time where I am heartbroken not to be able to travel to far away places, I’m still able to find newness in what’s nearby. But even though I feel more appreciative of my surroundings, I do long for my fast-paced life in New York City, one that I started recently and have put on pause while quarantining in my hometown of Santa Cruz. I find myself making icons of architecture from both places, trying to bridge the gap between where I was and where I am now, physically, as well as mentally and spiritually. I suppose it’s my way of cutting up the map and reassembling it. I hope that in making a collage from this kit, you will be more inclined to wander, too, just as the Situationists encouraged.
We recommend printing these out pages out so you can do some arts and crafts by using good old-fashioned scissors and glue. When you're done, send a photo or a scan of your artwork to or post it on Instagram and tag us @nearnessproject. Happy collaging!
Download the first page of Lauren's kit by clicking here.
And the second page by clicking here!
And some backgrounds here!
Morgan Healani Mein is a freelance set decorator for film and television from California, based in NYC. Her mixed-media art practice ranges includes themes of nostalgia, travel, chance and intuition. You can find her work on instagram @morganhealani