General Idea

Shut The Fuck Up, 1985

General Idea
Shut The Fuck Up
Dimensions and medium
Video, colour, sound, 14 min
Artwork description
Shut the Fuck Up features the members of General Idea critiquing the media’s problematic portrayal of art and artists. By appropriating television imagery, General Idea identifies and ridicules a particular brand of criticism that constantly rehashes the same stereotypes about art. They also denounce the enormous influence of the media, including television, newspapers, and even art history. The group’s dynamically structured critique parodies the very form of criticism it condemns. Their use of harsh, blunt language breaks with conventional codes and provides an excessive counterpoint to art’s portrayal by the media. General Idea rebukes the media’s point of view for its bourgeois attitude that portrays art as inherently hermetic, and for its utter lack of critical thinking. The work also includes: Mondo Cane Kama Sutra, a group of copulating dogs—which was often used as the group’s logo—and XXX bleu, a performance from 1984. These works reaffirm the group’s critical vocation through a system that glorifies stardom.

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