GENERAL IDEA "TEST PATTERN: T.V DINNER PLATE", 1988
General Idea was founded in 1967 in Toronto by AA Bronson (b. 1946), Felix Partz (1945-1994), and Jorge Zontal (1944-1994). Over the course of 25 years, they made a significant contribution to postmodern and conceptual art in Canada and beyond.
The group was both prolific and multi-disciplinary long before it became de rigueur. They worked across a wide range of media including photography, sculpture, painting, mail art, video, installations, multiples, and performance.
With their subversive approach and interest in parody and appropriation, General Idea addressed a broad range of social (and art-world) issues including the cult of the artist, mass media, queer identity, and consumerism.
Expanding on their 1979 video piece "Test Tube", this now iconic multiple reproduces the TV screen to comment on the ubiquity and dominance of television at the end of the 20th century. One could add that this work is a nod or a critique of the concept of TV dinner, referencing both mass media and the mass consumption of processed foods.
The initial impetus to create "Test Pattern" came from the exhibition venue itself, Spiral, in Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1985 by the Wacoal Corporation, Spiral is an arts center that includes exhibition spaces, a restaurant, a gallery shop, and a cutting-edge video production facility.
General Idea was intrigued by the concept of a place where you can "look, shop, and eat" and thus produced a work that could participate in all three while featuring the prevailing image of Japanese life, a video monitor.
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"Test Pattern: T.V Dinner Plate"
Multiple of porcelain plate in cardboard box with offset label
From an edition of 238
9"H 11.75"W (work)
Very good condition
Published by SPIRAL (Wacoal Art Center), Tokyo
Produced in Nagoya, Japan to accompany the installation and the exhibition both titled Test Pattern: T.V. Dinner Plates from the Miss General Idea Pavillion, SPIRAL
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