On 22 January 2006
we announced the formation of SLAG ~ Surrealist
London Action Group.
On 22 January 2016
SLAG will be formally dissolved.The dissolution will
be enacted in a ritual of love, destruction and
|2006: the green lion
devouring the sun, purity of vitriol|
slag (WASTE) noun
[U] waste material produced when coal is dug from the earth, or a substance
produced by mixing chemicals with metal that has been heated until it is liquid
in order to remove unwanted substances from it
See also slagheap
slag (WOMAN) noun [C] UK VERY INFORMAL DISAPPROVING a woman whose appearance
and behaviour, especially sexual, are considered unacceptable
ago SLAG arrived on the scene in a burst of piss and vinegar. Vigorously biting
every hand that tried to feed us, denouncing everyone and everything that didn’t meet our necessary and
impossible ideals, we quickly gained a reputation for obnoxiousness and
belligerence that we have proudly striven to live up to ever since.
time went by we also began to gain a reputation for hyperactivity in the
pursuit of the Marvellous, through incessant games, enquiries, declarations,
provocations, and energetic participation in international shows and
initiatives. Individual SLAG members have come and gone – some forcibly ejected, some
choosing other paths, some simply wandering off never to be seen again – but the group has continued,
fierce and fanatical and true.
always been the group that’s the thing. SLAG was founded on the principle of
collectivity. For a Surrealist group to be worthy of the name, it must be more
than the sum of its parts: the group must take on its own life and dynamic,
above and beyond the individuals involved, and it’s this presiding spirit that
speaks through our games and activities, in ways that we ourselves can neither
determine nor predict. In our finest moments this spirit has manifested itself with
immense power: as the tyrannical space-queen Sagal, whose effigy we dragged to
the top of an alp and who still refused to burn; as Lejman the scientist, who
inhabited a barometer with eight children and communicated with us through
Ouija; as dolls, amulets, imaginary friends, an army of dreamers, Holborn
golems, the fearful Baron Satan, and invisible hands on the planchette… The intoxication of those moments
is what has kept us going, kept us together, kept us all coming back to SLAG
meetings again and again.
results of our games and experiments have been too numerous and various to catalogue,
one result that’s been more important than all the others and that we’ve rarely referred to in public:
love. We often delight each other, we no less often annoy each other, we
sometimes even bore each other, but in the process we’ve forged such powerful bonds that
we have never ceased to love each other. Our external belligerence might even
be a measure of our internal tenderness, as we have fought tooth and claw to
protect our strangely glistening secret treasure.
brooks no substitutes, and neither does Surrealism. Nothing can replace the
regular face-to-face meetings that are a Surrealist group’s lifeblood – are, in fact, what constitutes
the group as such. It bears repeating in these days of virtual friendships and
on-screen simulacra: the presiding collective spirit of a Surrealist group demands
tribute in flesh and blood. Electronics can facilitate conversations and
maintain friendships at a distance, but they cannot replicate the spherical
alchemy that takes place when a group of Surrealists is really together,
encountering itself in body and mind.
of collectivity is the principle on which SLAG was founded. It is also the
principle on which SLAG is now being dissolved. Individual lives have changed,
and there are now more SLAG members living outside of London than in it. We’ve often been bastards, but we’ve never been bullshitters, and we’re facing it squarely: when we
reach the point when SLAG can no longer meet regularly, then SLAG will no
longer exist. In January we die.
attacked, denounced and offended over the years, we’d like to say, with a smile of
nostalgia and farewell: we meant every word. Fuck you.
friends and comrades in the Surrealist movement, and also to those who have
simply looked on with bemusement, we issue one last invitation – to grind your bones to make our
bread. And vice versa.
Elva Jozef, Mattias Forshage, Merl
Fluin, Patrick Hourihan, Paul Cowdell, Paul Day, Wendy Risteska
SLAG ~ Surrealist London Action
Winter solstice, 21 December 2015
2016: raven’s head, through putrefaction to genesis
On the night of Friday 22 January
2016, in a private venue in London, there will be held a ritual in which SLAG
will die – and something new will be born.
Our friends, comrades and fellow travellers around the world are invited to send us found
or made objects that we can use in this final ritual. We will
assemble a corpse from all of the objects we have found and received, and we
will place the corpse inside a specially prepared coffin.
Then, on Friday
22 January, all of the members of SLAG who are able to attend in person will perform
a ritual with the coffin and corpse.
ritual is concluded, we will hold a wake, bidding SLAG farewell by eating,
drinking and making merry around the coffin with our friends.
climax of the party, the next phase will begin. The coffin will be emptied, and
the contents used to create something new. This will mark the formal beginning
of a new Surrealist group, rising from the coffin of the old – a mixture of former SLAG members
and newcomers, doyens and debutants, setting out together in search of new treasures.
SLAG will be over, but the collective adventure will continue.
will be documented here on the Robber Bridegroom as it unfolds.
…Hitched, ragged panting, demons
from afar prick their ears,
Tears of joy in
their eyes, tears of recognition.
Afflicted thus, they
look at each other in surprise, confusion,
begin to ready themselves, smash.
Crashing they fall
into each other, giddy, tickling,
(Excerpt from Heliotrophic by Elva Jozef)
An emission of SLAG
~ Surrealist London Action Group
Surrealist London is a city that
will always remain to be invented
To find out what comes next, or to
get involved, email t6u6l6s AT gmail.com