PRINT September 2002


AA Bronson

AA Bronson, a cofounder of General Idea, divides his time between Toronto and New York, where his work was recently seen at the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

  1. A close friend once made me a present of WOLFGANG TILLMANS’S immortal photograph AA BREAKFAST, 1995, an “aerial view” of a companion’s erection taken during American Airlines’ in-flight breakfast service. (Hey, American, wake up! This would make a great billboard!) Many people have assumed the erection is mine, but it’s not. However, Wolfgang, I’m waiting for the invitation to pose for AA Lunch, AA Dinner, or even AA Cocktails.

    Wolfgang Tillmans, AA Breakfast, 1995, color photograph, 12 x 16". Wolfgang Tillmans, AA Breakfast, 1995, color photograph, 12 x 16".
  2. Speaking of commodities (we were, weren’t we?), ASIAN PUNK BOY, once an employee of the quarterly fashion extravaganza Visionaire, makes books/boxes to order using images and texts stolen from other artists, liberally mixed with miniaturized photos and stitched together with an attention to detail that reminds one of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo or Issey Miyake. See , where ’50s porno gives way to meticulously ordered columns of pale pink possibilities, little forays into visual/aural gamelike worlds of puns and pictures (look carefully and you’ll find a mini-project by Bruce LaBruce and a photo of his rosebud by yours truly).

  3. Speaking of BRUCE LABRUCE (we were, weren’t we?), watch for his extremely shocking upcoming collaboration with AA Bronson.

  4. BUTT MAGAZINE Although Nest is still my fave, Butt is a serious challenger. Published by Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom of Amsterdam, who (just like me) are fans of Wolfgang Tillmans, Bruce LaBruce, and Asian Punk Boy, Butt veers between the erotic and the trendy, with a sort of casual no-nonsense approach to mixing sex, life, and art.


    Clearly a student of Carolee Schneemann, SANDS MURRAY-WASSINK is an American expat living in Amsterdam whose über-feminist website ( ) offers a grid of some six hundred numbered but otherwise unidentified links. Flip through this encyclopedia of Murray-Wassink’s mind—from Carolee herself (#01) to MAC cosmetics (#416) to the National Women’s History Project (#300) to Pipilotti Rist (#635). You’ll also find (under “Pictures”) documentation of his performance-installation Erotic Homosexual Feminist Caucasian White Western Male Artist Witch Self Nude/Lascaux, 2002, from “Boys: The Construction of Maleness” at Shedhalle Zürich last spring.

  6. TAKUJI KOGO, a young Japanese artist who works under the pseudonym Candy Factory, is obsessively collaborative, weaving works by many artists into his profusion of websites and installations, combining neon sculptures of hangman’s nooses with flickering projections of Chrysanne Stathacos’s “aura portraits” of Indian holy men, for example. (Check out or ).

  7. RYAN McGINLEY’s glamorous-but-dumb portrait of Harmony Korine (Harmony on the Floor) in New York Photographs, 2002, Printed Matter’s limited-edition photo portfolio curated by Peter Halley and Index magazine. The photographer’s new book, Ryan McGinley (Index Books, 2002), is a blast, too.

  8. German-born, Vienna-based artist MATTHIAS HERRMANN’s ongoing flood of books, pamphlets, and periodicals, mostly self-published, all featuring his erotic and naked self-portraits. Hotel 2001 (Art Metropole, 2002), Herrmann’s latest, showcases (yes, again!) naked, often erotic self-portraits in hotel rooms worldwide. He’s got a knack for framing his erection with the most unlikely of architectural details, emerging from behind a closet door or playing peekaboo with a lamp shade. As Whitney curator Lawrence Rinder says in his introductory essay, “It’s rare to see such shamelessness. What an instructive performance!”

  9. HIROAKI OHYA’s perverse approach to making fashion last: He designs his clothing (ten pieces to date) as “books” that unfold into phantasmagorically winged and pleated creations. After the party, fold them up again and put them on the shelf. Ohya hopes to build an entire library by the end of his life. His clients? Not just the fashion elite but also “collectors”—a new hybrid of the art and fashion worlds.

  10. NEST Sorry, folks, I couldn’t say good-bye without another nod to the best shelter rag, Nest, A Quarterly Magazine of Interiors. Each issue seems more delirious than the last, the juxtaposition of the ironic, the palatial, the tribal, the eccentric, the intellectual, the minimal, and the sublime, bound together by a physical abnormality—a die-cut cover, a laser-cut hole, or yellow borders—to which not only the editorial content but also the advertisers must adjust. Pulling it all together are founder Joe Holtzman’s brilliant editorials, which must, one day, be published on their own.

    BONUS: Every Artforum Top Ten should include at least one art exhibition, and this is mine: “Same Difference,” Ydessa Hendeles’s brilliant show currently on at (where else?) the Ydessa Hendeles Foundation in Toronto, includes, among other works, Douglas Gordon’s Left is right and right is wrong and left is wrong and right is right, 1999; Maurizio Cattelan’s sensational Him, 2001; and a double-decker room of some 1,800 individually framed vintage photographs of teddy bears, discarded family snapshots that Hendeles purchased one by one on eBay over a three-year period: babies with teddies, little girls with teddies, soccer teams with teddy mascots, ’30s soft-core porn with teddies, soldiers with teddies—there’s more, of course, but sorry, Ydessa, Artforum wouldn’t give me the extra pages I’d need to adequately describe this indescribable exhibition. Suffice it to say that the cumulative effect is at once mind-bending, heartrending, and profound.