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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Oh Canada!

We have new books from two of my favourite Canadian culture makers, the one and only William Gibson and the once upon a time General Idea, the art collective (1969-1994) of Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal, and AA Bronson.

I still regularly think about William Gibson's novel Zero History, which I read when it was first released in 2010. His ability to research and capture contemporary culture means that, once you've read him, Gibson's version gets imprinted atop your real world encounters. I can no longer look at selvedge denim without thinking of Gabriel Hounds and the no logo branding in Zero History. This year Gibson delivers a book of straight up non-fiction, Distrust That Particular Flavor, a collection of writings from the late 1980's to the present, most focusing on Gibson's specialty of representing the tech-y edge of modern life.


General Idea makes me laugh out loud. Walking around Haute Culture, a retrospective of the art trio put on by the Art Gallery of Ontario this past year, I couldn't help loudly smile-sighing and going ha! Poodles, art commerce, sex and "glamour", analog cataloging; General Idea speaks in my visual language. Here's the catalog that accompanied Haute Culture, which closed January 1st, for you who missed it. It is the perfect exhibition catalog for a collective so interested in image circulation, printed matter, and the documents of art institutions.



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