September 8, 2015 - Salzburger Kunstverein - AA Bronson at Salzburger Kunstverein / AA Bronson at Grazer Kunstverein
September 8, 2015

Salzburger Kunstverein / Grazer Kunstverein

Keith Boadwee and AA Bronson, PLAID, 2015. Georg Petermichl.

AA Bronson at Salzburger Kunstverein
September 18–November 22, 2015

AA Bronson at Grazer Kunstverein
September 26–November 29, 2015

AA Bronson at Salzburger Kunstverein
September 18–November 22, 2015

AA Bronson at Grazer Kunstverein
September 26–November 29, 2015

The Salzburger Kunstverein and Grazer Kunstverein announce their collaboration with AA Bronson (born 1946, Vancouver). Bronson is artist and curator, subject and object, in this hybrid project. The two-part exhibition features his performances and artworks, collaborations with younger artists, and performances and artworks by friends. A pioneer of collaborative and queer visual art practice, he is the sole surviving member of General Idea (1969–94). He has had a long history with political and social issues in art and publishing, and has collaborated with many generations of artists across many disciplines. He is a founder of FILE Megazine, Toronto; Art Metropole, Toronto; The NY Art Book Fair, New York; the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice, New York; and AA Bronson’s School for Young Shamans, which is nomadic. In the last decades he has knitted elements from various religions into his work, from Tibetan Buddhism and Shamanism to Ceremonial Magic and Santeria. In particular he is known for his performance series Invocation of the Queer Spirits, which he first contrived in resistance to the New York commercial gallery scene. These allow no audience and no documentation, and nothing is for sale.

AA Bronson’s Garden of Earthly Delights
at Salzburger Kunstverein
Opening: 18 September, 8 pm
September 18-November 22, 2015


The exhibition begins as a queer reflection on Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych Garden of Earthly Delights, painted circa 1500, here married with Japan’s famous Zen garden of Ryōan-ji, constructed in 1499. Both works—the painted garden and the rock garden—offer us a vision of the spiritual as a constructed universe. This exhibition has two components: in the Main Hall, the audience circumambulates a garden of herbs, the witch’s beloved mugwort. An enormous mandala formed of rose petals greets guests at the entrance: Chrysanne Stathacos assembles this mandala through the course of the openings, chatting with guests. The garden is dominated by Folly (Lana’s Boudoir), a red and white striped tent, a kind of Medieval peep show. Other garden follies include antique Chinese pots: the first is King of Cups, a garden fishbowl with living goldfish; the second is a giant lidded pot on a high stand, named Family Secrets. A family of taxidermied deer feed on the mugwort. And the dark arts of New Orleans’ infamous lesbian priestess, JX Williams, are represented by a single altered sledgehammer (Stick to Hit the Devil 3, 2015). Two small photographs of flaming jockstraps by Matthias Herrmann complete the mise en scène. These sculptural installations are framed by a soundscape constructed from birdsong by Ebe Oke, and an “introduction” by Gareth Long. The second component of the exhibition takes place in the Kabinett: AA Bronson and Keith Boadwee have collaborated on an homage to the anus. They present a painting series titled "PLAID," performative works created by squirting paint from their sphincters. The paintings are simultaneously a nod to and simulacrum of classic modernist serial painting and Actionism both; they posit the body, and especially—in Freudian terms—the anus, as the fount of creation. AA Bronson says: “The asshole IS the revolution.”

AA Bronson’s Sacre du Printemps
at Grazer Kunstverein
Opening: 26 September, 12.30
September 26-November 29, 2015

Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s scandalous ballet of 1913 gives name to this sequence of rites and sacrifices, overseen by sage elders, here in the person of AA Bronson himself. The exhibition opens with a mandala of rose petals by Chrysanne Stathacos, a twin to a similar installation in Salzburg. The artist will install the work during the opening and chat with the public. This mandala is framed by What a Beautiful World!, a wallpaper installation by Yeonjune Jung that looks at sites of gay trauma in London. Cabine, a kind of fortune-teller’s tent by AA Bronson and Scott Treleaven, commands the first in a series of galleries. It is here that Michael Dudeck will perform his intense durational work based on ritual Hebrew text. Sharing the space is Ashes to Ashes, the remains of a performance by Nicolaus Chaffin and AA Bronson, invoking the spirits of the dead in Fire Island’s Magic Forest, where countless men who died of AIDS have had their ashes spread. Blue, by AA Bronson with Ryan Brewer, depicts the artists as spirits of the dead. Highlights in the rooms that follow are: a series of portraits of burning penises and a book inspired by a dancer’s jockstrap, both by Matthias Herrmann; a ritual space constructed of paintings of magical sigils by Elijah Burgher; and Igshaan Adams chanting inside a labyrinth of veils. The exhibition-within-the-exhibition, Queer Zines, brings together more than 150 independently published queer zines from the '70s to today. Jockstrap (for David) is a custom jockstrap made of cloth tape by Mark Jan Krayenhoff van de Leur: the jockstrap or dancer’s strap reveals itself as queer reliquary, rather than athletic aid. And K8 Hardy’s Untitled (Jockstrap Dress) is exactly that, a dress constructed of new and used jockstraps. Other works by JX Williams and AA Bronson complicate the selection. Each of these works tells a piece of a story, a history, and together they become a kind of pagan romance, a series of rites, a sacrifice, and a gathering of sage elders: AA Bronson, and many of the artists, will be present at the opening to tell these stories, to weave the history or dance the dance that is AA Bronson’s Sacre du printemps.

Press contacts: Michaela Lederer: lederer [​at​] and Tanja Gurke: tg [​at​]

Salzburger Kunstverein
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