AA Bronson co-founded the artists’ group General Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal in 1969. The three artists worked and lived together until the deaths of Felix and Jorge in 1994.Read More
Since then, Bronson has worked and exhibited as a solo artist, often collaborating with younger generations of artists. Since 1999, he has worked as a healer, an identity that he has also incorporated into his artwork. From 2004 to 2010, he was the Director of Printed Matter, Inc. in New York, founding the annual NY Art Book Fair in 2005. In 2009, he founded the Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York, which he now co-directs. In 2013, he was the founding Director of Printed Matter‘s LA Art Book Fair. He has taught at the University of California in Los Angeles, the University of Toronto, and the Yale School of Art.
AA Bronson’s artistic practice has long included elements of shamanism, although this tendency became more apparent only after the deaths from AIDS in 1994 of his collaborators Zontal and Partz. At the same time, as Bronson acknowledged: 'The 60s obsession with Eastern religions, states of the ecstatic, and theories of radical living and working fit me perfectly. General Idea never presented itself as spiritual, but behind our corporate mask, we were the product of our generation.'
Bronson’s best-known project is perhaps his series of performative healing rituals and séances, Invocation of Queer Spirits (2008–2009), for which he collaborated with Toronto artist Peter Hobbs to stage spiritual experiences in five locations across North America; in Banff, Alberta, New Orleans, Louisiana, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Governor’s Island, New York, and Fire Island Pines, New York. Bronson has characterized this series of performances as 'a hybrid between group therapy, ceremonial magic, a séance, a circle jerk, and a quilting bee.'
Text courtesy Esther Schipper.
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