AA Bronson’s 2003 exhibition at Ikon consisted of one work, his portrait Felix, June 5th, 1994 – a vast photograph, taken of his deceased friend Felix a few hours after he died. Together with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, Bronson founded the acclaimed group General Idea, with whom he exhibited throughout the world for over thirty years. This exhibition marked his first UK show as a solo artist after Felix and Jorge died of AIDS related illnesses and as such, functioned as part of a healing process. The work itself was displayed alone in Ikon’s first floor galleries and as a consequence appeared as an iconic human gesture in an architectural void of blank white walls, having no juxtaposition or ‘competition’ with other work in the space. In echo of this, the catalogue contains only the single image, Felix, and also includes an in-depth interview between Bronson and German artist Matthias Herrmann. This candid exchange explores issues such as the boundaries between the public and the private, victimization, the literary/artistic depiction of AIDS sufferers and the relationship between death, art and audiences. Bronson’s gesture of photographing his close friend in death is at once tough in its record of the facts and beautifully tender, embodying an extraordinary tension between an assertive decorative quality – a Klimt-like collision of patterns and bright colours – and profound subject matter. In accompaniment to this, the interview recorded in this catalogue functions as a powerful and moving defense of Bronson’s efforts to face grief through creativity.
AA Bronson, the New York-based artist best known for his 25 years with the artists’ collective General Idea, has spent a lifetime queering the cultural world. Here he joins up with Toronto-based artist and academic Peter Hobbs to spin a tale in images and words of five performances, all titled “Invocation of the Queer Spirits.” From 2008 to 2010 Bronson and Hobbs brought together small groups of men—in Banff, New Orleans, Winnipeg, Manhattan, and Fire Island—in a secret group ritual that was different every time and yet always the same. Invoking the “queer” and marginalized histories of each site, the men performed something that Bronson has characterized as “a hybrid between group therapy, ceremonial magic, a séance, a circle jerk, and a quilting bee.” This book explores each site in five chapters of photographic images, primarily by AA Bronson, together with a brilliant and often humorous reflection on queer animals, forest rangers, shamanism, and park sex by Peter Hobbs. A group of drawings by Chicago artist Elijah Bergher completes the volume.
The second edition of Queer Zines includes a new preface by editors Phillip Aarons and AA Bronson, corrections to the first edition, and errata. Queer Zines,the catalogue, collects the variegated practices of zine makers past and present, from North America and Europe, and lists them alphabetically, starting with Toronto’s 88 Chins and ending with the Dean Sameshima zine Young Men at Play. In a riotous assemblage of more than 200 pages, we find comprehensive bibliographies and sinful synopses for more than 120 zines by Alex Gartenfeld, excerpted illustrations and writings by zine makers, reprints of important articles in and about queer zines, a directory of important zine archives, and a list of zine outlets around the world. It also includes a 1980 interview with Boyd McDonald by Vince Aletti, Bimbox’s pop-up genitalia (alas, not popping up here), Adam Block’s early writings on zines from the Advocate, and excerpted interviews with GB Jones, Vaginal Davis, and Bruce LaBruce. The second volume will be released in January 2014.
Artist-run initiatives in North America provided a space for the presentation and legitimization of experimental work and for the assertion of socially progressive and politically radical ideas and questions. In making such spaces available, artist-run initiatives have operated alternately as flash points for heated debates and controversies, as well as platforms for social understanding and remaining for their audiences. Institutions by Artists: Volume One presents a collection of texts addressing the performance and promise of contemporary global artist-run centers and initiatives within the historical contexts that saw their emergence. Texts address centers in Amman (Jordan), Brisbane (Australia), Vancouver (Canada), Zurich (Switzerland) and Tokyo (Japan), Barcelona (Spain), among others. The book is published as part of Fillip’s ongoing Folio Series which presents anthologies of new and previously published questions on international contemporary art.
On the occasion of an exhibition in Paris on the JRP/Ringier publishing program, Ari Marcopoulos edited this commemorative zine Contributions from artists and writers who have worked with JRP/ Ringer in the past were limited only by the page size (8″ x 10″ pages and spreads). While lacking an official theme, the structurally and figuratively playful layouts reflect the certain je ne sais quoi embodied by the forwardthinking publishing house. With contributions by Allen Ruppersberg, Richard Prince, Olaf Breuning, Liam Gillick, Jim Shaw, AA Bronson and Guyton /Walker, among many others.
This volume was developed in collaboration with founders of important and exemplary artist-run spaces of the 1960s-1970s. It represents the first extensive research on this subject and introduces spaces such as Art Metropole in Toronto, Artpool in Budapest, Ecart in Geneva, Franklin Furnace in New York, MOCA in San Francisco, La Mamelle in San Francisco, Printed Matter in New York, Western Front in Vancouver, and Zona in Florence, whose founders include Carl Andre, John Armleder, AA Bronson, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard, Tom Marioni, and Maurizio Nannucci. At a time of transition to new aesthetic approaches, these artists promoted community spirit and organizational skills, pioneering a revaluation of traditional art concepts. The book documents not only the activities of these spaces, but also maps the artistic strategies and positions that took currency during this period. It thus shows how the inner life of collective self-organization and the exchange between like-minded artist-run spaces developed dynamically. With contributions by Julie Ault, Fern Bayer, Lionel Bovier, AA Bronson, Christophe Cherix, Gabriele Dettere, Terry Fox, Peggy Gale, Julia Klaniczay, Lucy Lippard, Carl Loeffler, Tom Marioni, Maurizio Nannucci, Toni Sant, Darlene Tong, Michael Turner, Keith Wallace and Martha Wilson. The book is part of the Documents series and is co-published with Zona Archives.
General Idea was founded in Toronto in 1969 by Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson as a generic identity to free the artists “from the tyranny of individual genius.” Under the leadership of their fictitious muse Miss General Idea, and inspired by William Burroughs’ conception of the “image virus,” the collective interrogated media image culture through now legendary projects like File magazine, as well as paintings, installations, sculptures, mail art, photographs, videos, ephemera, TV programs and even a beauty pageant. General Idea came to an end in 1994, when Partz and Zontal died of AIDS. Today General Idea can be seen to anticipate the later art collectives of the 1970s as well as aspects of Relational Aesthetics in the 1990s. This volume presents an overview of the Canadian collective’s bold mingling of reality and fiction and their frequently transgressive, parodic incursions upon both art and society. It traces such prevalent themes of their oeuvre as the mystique of the artist and the creative process, glamour as a creative tool, art’s relationship to media and mass culture, architecture and archaeology, sexuality and AIDS. Including newly commissioned essays and reprinted texts, this volume is richly illustrated with documents and reproductions of the most significant projects realized by General Idea between 1969 and 1994.
An alternative to the Alternative Press, legendary Toronto collaborative General Idea’s FILE Megazine–published from 1972 to 1989–is compiled, at long last, in this important five-volume boxed-set edition. General Idea consisted of AA Bronson–now the Executive Director of New York’s Printed Matter–Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz, who both died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1994. The trio cheekily appropriated FILE’s name and logo from LIFE magazine, and it quickly gained a reputation far beyond its Toronto underground roots. It was subversive to the core, pilfering freely from mainstream media and culture, while maintaining close attention to design issues and the use of experimental layouts. Three decades later, this compilation reveals FILE’s influence on both underground and mainstream publications. As critic and artist Peter Gallo has written, FILE “anticipated many queercore and punk zines of the later 70s and 80s as well as more recent mass-media interventions, such as the widely distributed, anti-globalist Vancouver-based publication Adbusters.”
The first exhibition to consider a recent history of artists’ representations of other artists, whether peers, colleagues, or idols. Surveying a loose network of artists primarily active in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, and New York, both exhibition and catalog explore a variety of approaches to portraiture, examining how artists have questioned, and reimagined, what exactly constitutes a portrait. Featured Artists Matthew Antezzo, Roy Arden, David Armstrong, AA Bronson, Edgar Bryan, Heather Cantrell, Chuck Close, Anne Collier, Tacita Dean, Sam Durant, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Richard Hamilton, Peter Hujar, Deborah Kass, Mike Kelley, Richard Kern, Bruce La Bruce, Sean Landers, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jonathan Meese, Richard Misrach, Dave Muller, Paul Noble, Julian Opie, Elizabeth Peyton, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, David Robbins, Wolfgang Tillmans, James Welling, Neil Winokur
Queer Zines, the catalogue, collects the variegated practices of zine makers past and present, from North America and Europe, and lists them alphabetically, starting with Toronto’s 88 Chins and ending with the Dean Sameshima zine Young Men at Play. In a riotous assemblage of more than 200 pages, we find comprehensive bibliographies and sinful synopses for more than 120 zines by Alex Gartenfeld, excerpted illustrations and writings by zine makers, reprints of important articles in and about queer zines, a directory of important zine archives, and a list of zine outlets around the world. It also includes a 1980 interview with Boyd McDonald by Vince Aletti, Bimbox’s pop-up genitalia (alas, not popping up here), Adam Block’s early writings on zines from the Advocate, a “Where are They Now?” section that charts the careers of various queer zine pioneers, and excerpted interviews with GB Jones, Vaginal Davis, and Bruce LaBruce.
A Fine Red Line – A Curatorial Miscellany is a publication that has been edited and published by six curators graduating from the MFA Curating programme at Goldsmiths College, University of London. The publication explores current trends and tendencies within art and exhibition making and is structured around nine questions, to which both contemporary artists and emerging curators have been invited to respond with both visual and written contributions. Issues tackled within the publication include the developing role of the curator, the objectification of the ‘community’ and the intentions of community-based projects, the relationship between new media and democracy, the common use of the term ‘fiction’ in art making, the current status of performance, the difficulties of accommodating multiple codes of ethics in the artworld and the renewed mystification within contemporary art practices and display. The title reflects both the editorial concept and content and the diverse positions and practices of ‘the curator’, focusing on the fine line between both practical and theoretical concerns, the artist and the audience. This fine line is also red; ‘curating’, as the word processors tell us, is a spelling mistake, an occupation not yet universally recognised. Accordingly, this ‘miscellany’ is not intended as a curatorial guide, but rather, a platform for diverse opinions on contemporary art. A Fine Red Line contributors include: Louisa Adam, Rosa Barba & David Maljkovic, Stephanie Bertrand, Carol Bove, AA Bronson, Steve Claydon, Mary Cork, Mario Garcia Torres, Haizea Barcenilla, Rahila Haque, Emily Jacir, Marlena Kudlicka and Tarek Zaki, Christine Kunze Takegny, Guillaume Paris, Alexandre Singh, Caterina Riva, Cally Spooner, John Stezaker, Stephanie Sykes, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Jeffrey Vallance.
a+mbookstore is a publishing house and a bookstore specializing in visual contemporary arts, founded in 1993 in Milan.
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