September 23—November 7, 2009

General Idea: Works 1968–1975 General Idea

Club Canasta, FILE’s Filathon Telephone Canasta Party, 1972 (back left) 18 items of textual records, 13 photographs, 11 1/4“ audio reels A mailer had been sent through the network inviting people to the Canasta tournament and asking each recipient to circle the name of the person on the list with whom he or she wished to speak on the telephone during the party. An open conference call was then set up with twenty-odd artists from around the world. Index Cards, 1969 (front center) 45 index cards, typescript on ruled index card AA Bronson, Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz used index cards to identify themes and ideas, eventually grouped into three categories (Event Series, Act/Action/Instruction Series, Air Earth Fire Water Series). Chain Letter, 1969 (back right) Typescript on paper AA Bronson initiated a series of correspondence projects manifested in chain letters. Many of them had been typed onto index cards. They were a first way of General Idea expressing their interest in an artist network spanning several countries. Photo © Nick Ash

Press Release

In the gallery’s third solo show with General Idea, Esther Schipper is showing works from the early years. The Canadian artists’ group was founded in 1968 by Jorge Zontal, Felix Partz and AA Bronson in Toronto. With conceptual works, subversive commentaries on mass media culture, and the appropriation of formats from popular culture, the group soon attracted international attention. Their works of the 1970s, 80s and 90s are still considered an important influence on subsequent...
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