New York

General Idea

49th Parallel

For well over a decade now, General Idea, the collaborative identity of three Canadian artists—A. A. Bronson, Felix Partz, and Jorge Saia—has systematically and sarcastically invented a persuasive epic of self-referential iconic rhetoric. But the group’s satirical mimicking of the language and structure of the institutions of the culture has itself become a standard of taste. The mock grandeur of General Idea’s hoax scheme is so exact in its generic formalism that it provides its own kitsch idols to false deities as it goes about its iconoclastic ridicule of the system. The art world has come to take its jokes seriously.

General Idea’s elaborate construction of an iconography of models for mass conformity is based on a deconstruction of the values and methods behind inherited social truths. The wit in this heretical mutation of corporate faith is so dry that the group’s artifacts and

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