General Idea Editions



25 June – 20 August 06



Opening: June 24, 2006, 5 - 9 pm

With the exhibition General Idea Editions 1967–1995 KW Institute for Contemporary Art presents a retrospective of the Canadian artists' collaborative General Idea (Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, AA Bronson) and its works. After touring ten cities in Canada and the United States to great acclaim and a successful show in Munich's Kunstverein this spring, the three-hundred-plus works in different media will now be displayed at KW in Berlin. General Idea Editions 1967–1995 is the trio's largest exhibition in Europe since Fin de siècle, which was held at the Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, in 1992. Combining critical theory, political activism and Appropriation Art, General Idea gained international fame and a standing as one of the most influential groups in their field during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, partly because of an AIDS awareness campaign.

The group used conceptual and emotionally expressive approaches in playing confident games with gender, "viral infection" and the parasitic appropriation of popular media. The retrospective gives an encompassing survey of the General Idea oeuvre from 1967 to 1995 in all its diversity, its formats including installation, photography, videos and posters as well as publications, editions and banners – the entire spectrum of multiples. The exhibition also offers visitors access to all editions of FILE Magazine (known as FILE Megazine from 1975), an artists' magazine that reconfigured the format of LIFE Magazine, which led to it being banned for some time. In addition KW will present two films: God is my Gigolo from 1969, the first filmic work of General Idea, and the video Shut the fuck up from 1984. For only the second time since its realisation the last installation, which was planned by the whole group and realized after the dead of Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal in 1994, Fruits de Mer, will also be on show.

General Idea Editions 1967–1995 was curated by Barbara Fischer for the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga. The show at KW Institute for Contemporary Art has been organized by Markus Müller in close collaboration with Barbara Fischer and AA Bronson (General Idea).

We would like to thank the sponsors of the exhibition: the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Andy Warhol Foundation, Foreign Affairs Canada, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and Esther Schipper, Berlin.