fbpx AA Bronson | CIRCA

AA Bronson currently lives and works in Berlin. He 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 Partz and Zontal in 1994. 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 has received numerous awards, including: the AICA Award, AICA Netherlands, in 2014; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France, in 2011, the Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 and the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, Canada in 2002.

 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.”


Circa Commissions

AA Bronson + General Idea: Meet Me At Night

This December, CIRCA commemorates the 40th anniversary of AIDS first being clinically recorded with this new commission titled VideoVirus by AA Bronson and General Idea. A reimagining of the historic Imagevirus for a global audience, the iconic artwork comes to life in a hypnotic video animation that virally transmits their activist message around the globe.

From Imagevirus’ original intention of rendering visible an ignored crisis, today’s VideoVirus colourfully heralds our progress toward the eradication of AIDS, with CIRCA’s global presentation amplifying the commitment by international health organisations to achieve zero new HIV transmissions by 2030.

Here I am. Can you see me?

An existence so deep, it can’t map itself. White foam on top of dark waves. Here, I am. Can you see me? Across the ocean I precipitate.

I travel as an image, I spread like an idea. On the streets, on the side of a bus, in bright lights, around dinner tables, underground, in intoxicating darkness, in public and in private. In spaces where I don’t belong, where I shouldn’t be, but I must; to survive, to thrive. To justify my rights to my own existence.

Meet me downtown, inside a time capsule. Our meetings are always queer. Meet me at night, downstairs, where you can smell me. Outside the lights and stars shine. Widen your iris, take them in. Let me in. I need to trespass.

Let me dissolve and multiply. I have messages.