The Hacienda Must Be Built

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In A Cavalier History of Surrealism, one of the leading member of the Situationist International (see Moving Images), the Belgian Raoul Vaneigem states that for all the revolutionary intentions expressed by the Surrealists in their manifestos and publications, they were still haunted by the old dream of Château living. The above statement written by Ivan Chichegiev in one of the earliest SI texts Formulary For A New Urbanism also explicitly references the SI’s forebearers, ‘We are bored in the city, there is no longer any Temple of the Sun. Between the legs of the women walking by, the dadaists imagined a monkey wrench and the surrealists a crystal cup. That’s lost.’

The SI suggested that it was futile to be looking nostalgically back at a lost Golden Age that never existed, instead we must build the Hacienda for ourselves. Tony Wilson, a Manchester TV presenter, music critic and record label boss (the independent  Factory Records, home of Joy Division and New Order), did exactly that when he opened the legendary nightclub The Hacienda in the mid 1980’s which was the centre of Manchester night-life for over a decade. Wilson was long familiar with the Situationists International as he had previously promoted punk bands on his TV show and had even ran his business ventures  (unsuccessfully, from a purely financial standpoint) along lines suggested by the Situationists.

Ironically, yet somehow grimly predictable, the defunct Hacienda was recently converted into a luxury apartment block. Regardless of this recuperation, we must demand the impossible and make the dream of the Hacienda a reality.