“Art Metropole: The Top 100”

In 1974, the artists collective General Idea established Art Metropole as a business venture and an archive for artists’ books, videos, multiples, photographs and other products stemming from what they called “the ephemeral flood.” AA Bronson, Jorge Zontal and Felix Partz (born Michael Tims, Slobodan Saia-Levy and Ron Gabe, respectively) formed General Idea in Toronto around 1968. Their gathering of material that would eventually form Art Metropole’s archives began in 1969. For the next 20 years, the archives served as a source of inspiration for the group, as well as a vehicle through which they established personal and professional connections with other artists.

It is fitting that the National Gallery of Canada, to which the archives were donated in 1999, would compile a touring exhibition of 100 items from the 13,000-piece collection just as Art Metropole is set to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Organizers Kitty Scott, formerly Curator of Contemporary Art, and Jonathan Shaughnessy, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, at the National Gallery selected an eclectic mix of treasures produced by an international roster of artists who were the vanguard of the Fluxus, Minimalist, Pop, Conceptual and Performance Art movements…

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Volume 28, Number 1: Shirin Neshat

This article originally appeared in Border Crossings #109, published March 2009.

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