Artist: General Idea
Venue: MAMCO, Geneva
Exhibition Title: Photographs 1969-1982
Curated by: Paul Bernard, Lionel Bovier
Date: May 31 – September 10, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of MAMCO, Geneva. Photos by Annik Wetter.
MAMCO, Geneva presents a group exhibition titled “General Idea: Photographs (1969-1982).”
Founded in 1969 by AA Bronson, Jorge Zontal, and Felix Partz, the Canadian collective General Idea produced one of the most striking oeuvres from the 1970s and 1980s. This multiform work took on the glamour of popular images, the ideology of mass media, and the commonplaces spread throughout the art world, always with a strong sense of irony. Mindful readers of Marshal McLuhan and Roland Barthes’ “Mythologies,” in 1970 they organized a beauty contest to elect a Miss General Idea: a mythological, asexual, faceless, and blurry figure who became their muse.
The exhibition, conceived in close collaboration with AA Bronson, tackles the first 10 years of General Idea’s career under the specific angle of photography. The aesthetics of these early works borrows from Minimal, Conceptual, as well as Land art, and viewers will also find an echo to works from Dennis Oppenheim, Franz Erhard Walther, or even Victor Burgin. However, these photographs are also documents from the group’s life within the context of communitarian utopias which left their mark on the 1960s in Northern America. Following their principle of “form follows fiction,” the works produced during this period systematically relate to their muse and her pavilion, through an iconographic repertoire constituted of pieces of clothing and accessories, mirrors, Venetian blinds, or the ziggurat pattern. The exhibition also pays attention to the role of edition within the production and diffusion of these images. FILE Magazine, presented by General Idea as a “cultural parasite,” featured the group’s manifestoes and projects, chronicled the artistic life, and introduced new cultural trends.
Link: General Idea at MAMCO