Installation of expanded polystyrene with three stuffed faux seal pups, acrylic, glass, and straw
General Idea’s 1990 installation Fin de Siècle consists of a minimum of three hundred sheets of Styrofoam that fill a room, creating the impression of a large field of breaking ice. At the center of these stylized white blocks lay three stuffed harp seal pups. The artists drew on the aesthetic of this painting, while the insertion of faux seal pups in the Arctic scene recalls a diorama from a natural history museum. Fin de Siècle presents a humoristic and cynical self-representation of the Canadian group, where the three seal pups stand for the three artists: AA Bronson, Felix Zontal, and Jorge Partz. One of their last self-portraits — Felix Zontal, and Jorge Partz died of AIDS-related illness in 1994 — the work is also a deeply-charged commentary on the AIDS pandemic.