• Spread from FILE Megazine 3, no. 1 (Fall 1975). Rodney Werden, portrait of General Idea. From left: Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, AA Bronson.

    General Idea

    Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

    According to Frank Zappa, “God made three big mistakes: The first mistake was called man. The second mistake was called wo-man. And the third mistake was the invention of the poodle.” Seeing “Haute Culture: General Idea, Une rétrospective 1969–1994” made one suspect that the consummate artist, as fashioned by General Idea, was part man, part woman, and part poodle.

    The male part of this artist was created in 1975. A previously unpublished 1991 interview with General Idea in the catalogue to this recent exhibition reveals that the name first appeared in 1970, not 1968, as legend has it, and that

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  • Thu Van Tran, Être Hévéa (Being a Rubber Tree) (detail), 2011, wood, wax; three boxes, each 90 1/2 x 17 3/4 x 12 1/4".

    Thu Van Tran

    Gallery Martine Aboucaya

    La Tache, the French translation of Philip Roth’s novel The Human Stain (2000), a gripping confrontation of race, religion, academia, and the Vietnam War in late-twentieth-century America, provided the title and starting point for Vietnamese-born artist Thu Van Tran’s exhibition of sculpture, drawing, and installation. Addressing French colonialism, the Catholic Church’s mission in Southeast Asia, the rubber trade, and the Vietnam War, as well as American Minimalism, Tran introduced a myriad of moral and political conflicts similar to those engaged by Roth. Tran did not distill her concerns into

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