Exhibition — Books, Pamphlets & Zines by AA Bronson & General Idea


You are invited to the exhib­i­tion »Books, Pamph­lets & Zines by AA Bron­son & Gen­er­al Idea« at Tender­books in Lon­don, UK open­ing on April 16th, 2015 at 7pm…

A selec­tion of book works by AA Bron­son and Gen­er­al Idea includ­ing rare pamph­lets and zines from AA Bronson’s per­son­al archives will be exhib­ited at Tender­books with many of the titles avail­able to read and pur­chase.

»These extraordin­ary pub­lic­a­tions, many of which are self-pub­lished, doc­u­ment a myri­ad of adven­tures from magic­al invoc­a­tions of ‘queer spir­its’, a col­lec­tion of semant­ic cock­tails and the sassy, invent­ive car­ni­val of Gen­er­al Idea’s beauty pageants to a journ­al explor­ing the shape of the stiletto shoe. Such works pay test­a­ment to the energy and resource­ful­ness of AA Bronson’s col­lab­or­a­tions as artist, cur­at­or, pub­lish­er, edu­cat­or and heal­er.

AA Bron­son is an artist liv­ing and work­ing in Toronto and Ber­lin. In the six­ties, he left Uni­ver­sity with a group of friends to found a free school, a com­mune, and an under­ground news­pa­per. This led him into an adven­ture with gestalt ther­apy, rad­ic­al edu­ca­tion, and inde­pend­ent pub­lish­ing. In 1969 he formed the artists’ group Gen­er­al Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zont­al; for the next 25 years they lived and worked togeth­er to pro­duce the liv­ing art­work of their being togeth­er, under­tak­ing over 100 solo exhib­i­tions, and count­less group shows and tem­por­ary pub­lic art pro­jects. They were known for their magazine FILE (1972 – 1989), their unre­lent­ing pro­duc­tion of low-cost mul­tiples, and their early involve­ment in punk, queer the­ory, AIDS act­iv­ism, and oth­er mani­fest­a­tions of the oth­er. In 1974 they foun­ded Art Met­ro­pole, Toronto, a dis­tri­bu­tion centre and archive for artists’ books, audio, video, and mul­tiples, which they con­ceived as the shop and archive for their Ges­amtkunstwerk: The 1984 Miss Gen­er­al Idea Pavil­lion, a kind of meta-museum. From 1987 through 1994, they focused their work on the sub­ject of AIDS.

Since his part­ners died in 1994, AA has worked and exhib­ited as a solo artist, often col­lab­or­at­ing with young­er gen­er­a­tions, most recently in his per­form­ance series Invoc­a­tion of the Queer Spir­its. Since 1999 he has worked as a heal­er, an iden­tity that he has also incor­por­ated into his art­work. From 2004 to 2010 he was the Dir­ect­or of Prin­ted Mat­ter, Inc. in New York City, found­ing the annu­al NY Art Book Fair in 2005. In 2009 he foun­ded the Insti­tute for Art, Reli­gion, and Social Justice at Uni­on Theo­lo­gic­al Sem­in­ary in New York City, which he now co-dir­ects. In 2013 he was the found­ing Dir­ect­or of Prin­ted Matter’s LA Art Book Fair. He has taught at UCLA, the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto, and the Yale School of Art.

AA Bronson’s work — as an artist, heal­er, cur­at­or, and edu­cat­or — is dom­in­ated by the prac­tice of col­lab­or­a­tion and con­sensus. From his begin­nings in a free school and com­mune, through his 25 years as one of the artists of Gen­er­al Idea, in his deep involve­ment with found­ing and devel­op­ing col­lab­or­at­ive and social struc­tures such as Art Met­ro­pole, the NY Art Book Fair and AA Bronson’s School for Young Sham­ans, and through his cur­rent col­lab­or­a­tions with young­er gen­er­a­tions, he has focused on the polit­ics of decision-mak­ing and on liv­ing life rad­ic­ally as social sculp­ture.«
 — Tender­books

More inform­a­tion you’ll find here.

6 Cecil Court
Lon­don WC2N 4HE

April 17th to May 23th, 2015
Tues­day to Sat­urday, 11am to 6pm

Pre­view: Thursday, April 16th, 2015 from 7 to 9pm