Magazine article Artforum International

AA Bronson: John Connelly Presents

Magazine article Artforum International

AA Bronson: John Connelly Presents

Article excerpt

For twenty-five years, AA Bronson lived and made art as part of General Idea. The Canadian trio mimicked and mutated mass-cultural forms from beauty pageants to boutiques to glossy magazines, always returning with vertiginous glee and cutting irony to the intricacies of creating an identity in a media-saturated society. Bronson's work since the 1994 AIDS-related deaths of Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, his two partners in GI, has become more personal and less sportive: The most powerful image in the 2002 Whitney Biennial was his deathbed portrait of Partz, and in an interview published this year in arts journal Border Crossings, Bronson said, "There's no longer any irony in my work."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

How, then, to take Bronson's latest project, which centers on the giggle-inducing notion of butt massage, as a healing act no less? Per Bronson, one keisters away deep shame and trauma like drugs during a strip search, and his techniques, certified in the state of California and honed over a year and a half of professional practice, can help release it. Male visitors to the gallery were encouraged to make appointments for before- or after-hours sessions in the "private healing facility" that formed the show's centerpiece. This pipe-frame cabana houses a massage table covered in red bandannas, a rack of fluffy, tightly rolled red towels, speakers broadcasting a soothing sound track made in collaboration with composer Andrew Zealley, and accoutrements including paper towels, vinyl gloves, breath mints, a nebulizer to perfume the air, and a coffee warmer for heating massage oil. In classic General Idea style, AA BRONSON*BUTT SPA, 2004, exceeds mere commentary to fully inhabit the body of commerce, incorporating a sales shelf of candles and oil and a brand identity (created by graphic designer Garrick Goff) that prescribes the show's peculiar title treatments. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.