Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion

General Idea
December 3 – 8, 2019

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988 (detail)
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988 (detail)
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988 (detail)
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988 (detail)
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

General Idea

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1988 (detail)
432 hand-painted porcelain sushi plates assembled into 3 panels of 144 plates each
22,5 x 30 x 1,5 cm (each plate)
274,3 x 365,8 x 1,5 cm (each panel)
Overall installation: 2,75 x 12,8 m

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion

General Idea
Meridians, Art Basel Miami Beach
December 3 – 8, 2019
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Amongst the first artists to implement media critique and queer theory in their work, AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal came together in 1969 to form the collaborative General Idea. For twenty-five years, they created a pioneering and singular body of work that addressed the intersection of art and commerce, the role of the artist and the museum, body politics and the AIDS crisis. Using strategies of appropriation, audience participation, humor and irony, they produced posters, performances, photographs, videos, paintings, magazines and other multiples that together form a kind of meta-spectacle as much as a formal artistic oeuvre. As Bronson notes, the group “emerged in the aftermath of the Paris riots, from the detritus of hippie communes, underground newspapers, radical education, Happenings, love-ins, Marshall McLuhan, and the International Situationists….General Idea was at once complicit in and critical of the mechanisms and strategies that join art and commerce, a sort of mole in the art world.”

 

The present work, Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, features three gigantic banks of surveillance monitors, each composed of 144 porcelain plates printed with the SMPTE color bars in television test patterns. Building on the group’s 1979 video piece Test Tube (a parodic yet prescient meditation on the collapse and intermingling of popular and high culture through the mass media), Test Pattern employs the form of the television screen to comment on the highly stylized and mediatized nature of the culture industry, serving it up (so to speak) on a wall of plates. The piece also highlights, in mimicking the format of security monitors, the group’s interest in and investigation of the social and aesthetic forces of cultural panopticism. 

 

The initial impetus to create Test Pattern came from the exhibition venue itself. Established in 1985 by the Wacoal Corporation, Spiral is an arts center that includes exhibition spaces, a restaurant, a gallery shop and a cutting-edge video production facility. General Idea was intrigued by the concept of a place where you can “look, shop and eat,” and thus produced a work that could participate in all three, while featuring the dominant image of Japanese life of the moment, a video monitor. 

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