School for Young Shamans. The artist's new exhibition returns to his collaborative roots. The installation includes performance, video, sculpture, sound, photography and drawing.
AA Bronson's new exhibition returns to his collaborative roots.
Two collaborations, both with Terence Koh, consist of a double toilet
cubicle joined by a glory hole: one is a miniature, a
three-dimensional model; the other is an architectural installation
that invites the performative.
The installation "AA Bronson's School for Young Shamans" is also performative in nature. Incorporating works by nine younger artists and a musical score by composer Andrew Zealley, the installation includes performance, video, sculpture, sound, photography and drawing. The central object in the installation, a soothsayer's tent made in collaboration with Scott Treleaven (Paris), will act as the site for a performance by "Performance Artist/Witch Doctor" Michael Dudeck (Winnipeg) during the opening event. Other artists in the installation include Christophe Chemin (Berlin), Scott Hug (New York), Sands Murray-Wassink (Amsterdam), Naufus Figueroa (Guatemala), Item Idem (Tokyo), and J.X. Williams (East L.A.). A portrait of Christophe Chemin by Bruce LaBruce (Toronto) completes the installation. The installation is intentionally cross-generational and spans 40 years of artists.
AA's earliest works, photographic self-portraits from 1969, are also tucked into the show, together with recent self-portraits. A photographic self-portrait commissioned by the Royal Museum of Mariemont in Brussels is a still life, within which the artist can be found. And a new edition of convex mirrors, studded with crystals, mimic a 16th century Tibetan mirror, the divination mirror of the State Oracle of Tibet.
For the last fifteen years, AA Bronson's work has addressed themes of trauma and mourning, sex and death, spirit and transformation. "Anna and Mark, February 3, 2001" is a bill-board-sized photographic portrait of the artists' spouse, Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur, with his daughter Anna, taken 10 days after her premature birth. Like the "School for Young Shamans" it points the way to renewal and new life in the face of loss.
AA Bronson worked and lived as one of the three artists of General Idea from 1969 through 1994. Since then, he has worked under his own name, with exhibitions at the Vienna Secession (2000), the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (2001), the MIT List Visual Arts Center (2002), and the Power Plant, Toronto (2003). He was included in the Montreal Biennial (2000), and the Whitney Biennial (2002), as well as the Venice Biennale (1980), the Sydney Biennale (1983), the Sao Paulo Biennale (1998), and Documenta (1982). He has received many awards, most recently the Skowhegan Medal in Media Arts (2006). He was appointed a Senior Critic at the Yale School of Art in 2006, and has been the Director of Printed Matter, Inc. since 2004.
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