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Toronto: General Idea Returns!

The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion
The Art Gallery of York University, Toronto
September 15 – 6 December, 2009

This fall, in Toronto, General Idea comes back from the dead:

In an attempt to resurrect Toronto’s oft-forgotten cultural history, the Art Gallery of York University is going to reconstruct The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion, a work by Canadian art collective General Idea, or as they put it: “restore the Pavillion to the shell of its past glory.”

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Test Tube, 1979. Felix, Jorge, and AA are discovered at the Color Bar Lounge of the Pavillion in this made-for-television video. They discuss the relartion of the artist to the public and the media, as well as issues of consumerism and celebrity. Image: facebook.com

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The Ruins of the 1984 Miss general Idea Pavillion, 1977. Image: facebook.com

The Pavillion was destroyed in a fire in 1977, and its construction and destruction will be documented at the AGYU by the recreation of two of the group’s key exhibitions, Going Thru the Notions and Reconstructing Futures, which were first exhibited at the Carmen Lamanna Gallery in 1975 and 1977 respectively.


The Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion, 1980. Image: aabronson.com

The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavilion (1968–78) is, according to Tom Morton, writing in Frieze magazine in 2006, “an imaginary building that AA Bronson has described as a ‘(semi-fictional) museum’, but which is perhaps best thought of as a phantom architectural skeleton on which the flesh of the artists’ practice grew.”

Also, says Morton, “the Pavilion is a project that’s about the uneasy relationship art has to time and to (art) history, about what form an artistic practice’s spine might take and in which direction it might grow.”

An appropriate exhibition for right now, then.

Click HERE to read the full piece in Frieze.

HERE is more info on AGYU’s upcoming exhibition.

Click HERE to read a piece by Gary Michael Dault on the evolution of Toronto’s galleries from the 197s to today.

3 Responses to “Toronto: General Idea Returns!”

  1. Nicholas Brown says:

    Can’t wait for this!

  2. Bill says:

    Me, too! LOVE G.I.!

  3. Barry Smylie says:

    It is a mockery about a mockery and much to intellectual for my under developed tastes.

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