Ralph Rumney  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ralph Rumney (June 5, 1934 - March 6, 2002) artist, born in Newcastle, England. In 1957 lifelong conscientious objector Rumney was one of the co-founders of the London Psychogeographical Association, which was dissolved to form the Situationist International with Walter Olmo, Michèle Bernstein (who he was later to be married to), Asger Jorn and Guy Debord in the Italian village of Cosio d'Arroscia. However, within seven months Rumney had been 'amiably' expelled from the SI by Debord for allegedly "failing to hand in a psychogeography report about Venice on time".

Rumney spent much of his life living as a wanderer, and was variously described as both a 'recluse' and a 'media whore', seeing his existence as a 'permanent adventure and endless experiment'. He moved, as his friend Guy Atkins said, "between penury and almost absurd affluence. One visited him in a squalid room in London's Neal Street, in a house shared with near down-and-outs. Next, one would find him in Harry's Bar in Venice, or at a Max Ernst opening in Paris. He seemed to take poverty with more equanimity than riches."

Ralph Rumney died of cancer at his home in Manosque, Provence, on March 6, 2002, aged 67.

A book about his life, The Map Is Not The Territory by Alan Woods and Ralph Rumney (Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-5951-8) was published in 2001.

See also The Consul by Rumney (Verso, ISBN 1-85984-395-6) published in 2002.

An extensive interview with Rumney appears in Vague magazine, issue 22.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ralph Rumney" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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