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Ralph Rumney

Ralph Rumney (June 5, 1934 - March 6, 2002) artist, born in Halifax, England. In 1957 life long Conscientious objecter 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, 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" (1).

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."

A book about his life, The Map Is Not The Territory (Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719059518) was published in 2001.

See also The Consul by Rumney (Verso, ISBN 1859843956) published in 2002.

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

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


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