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Being framed by irony : AIDS and the art of General Idea

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Being framed by irony : AIDS and the art of General Idea

Nicholson, Luke (2006) Being framed by irony : AIDS and the art of General Idea. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates transformations that took place within the work of the Toronto-based art collaborative General Idea before and after it came to deal with the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s and it explores how these relate to its ongoing concern with irony. In General Idea's work of the 70s, irony appears in many playful varieties. Yet the collaborative's irony seemed to wane as its work dealt increasingly with AIDS or, at least, its character seemed to change: it appeared to become more wry, critical, and less exuberant. In The AIDS Project (after 1987) and other, later works, General Idea's visual language becomes sparer and develops a public or installation-based inquiry into ambiguities around originality and cultural transmission and dissemination that parallels the behaviour of the AIDS virus itself or aspects of its cultural contexts. But this thesis argues that these later series represent a continuation of many of the collaborative's earlier concerns and not at all their abandonment. Drawing upon close analysis of works throughout General Idea's oeuvre , as well a theoretical investigation of irony, "Being Framed by Irony: AIDS and the Art of General Idea" seeks to anatomize and explain these developments.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Nicholson, Luke
Pagination:viii, 163 leaves : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Foss, Brian
ID Code:8901
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:39
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:04
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