Skip to content



CIRCA presents 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 across billboards around the globe throughout December 2021.


Active 1969 - 1994

Collective members:
AA Bronson 
b. 1946, Vancouver 

Felix Partz
b. 1945, Winnipeg
d. June 5, 1994, Toronto

Jorge Zontal 
b. 1944, Parma, Italy
d. February 3, 1994, Toronto

Formed in Toronto in 1969 by AA Bronson, Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal, General Idea is internationally recognized for work that tackled such subjects as the myth of the artist, the role of mass media, the relationship between the body and the identity, issues of gender and sexual repression, and famously HIV/AIDS activism at a time when talking about the disease was a taboo.  The members of General Idea were key figures in the 1970-80s conceptual art scenes and, with equal parts humor and criticality, created work across a variety of mediums and platforms. Performances and fictionalized, self-referential mythologies played a large role in their work – the group staged beauty pageants, boutiques, television talk shows, trade fair pavilions, and more, and their work often took on unconventional forms of media such as prints, magazines, posters, crests, and postcards. 

General Idea has been the subject of several major traveling exhibitions, including General Idea Retrospective, Gropius Bau, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and National Gallery of Canada, Ontario (2022-24); Broken Time/Tiempo Partido, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires and Fondation Jumex, Mexico City (2016-17); General Idea Editions: 1967-1995, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; Muenchen Kunstverin, Munich; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Plug In, Winnipeg; and McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton (2003-07); Fin de siècle, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona; Kunstverein, Hamburg; The Power Plant, Toronto; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1993); and The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion, Kunsthalle Basel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal (1985).

Solo exhibitions include General Idea, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich (2019); Ziggurat, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2017); P is for Poodle, Esther Schipper, Berlin (2013); Sex + Death, Galerie Fréderic Giroux, Paris (2007); Search for the Spirit: General Idea 1968-1975, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1997); Infe©tions, World Wide Video Center, Den Haag (1994); Mondo Cane Kama Sutra, Centre d’art contemporain, Geneva (1984); Test Tube, de Appel, Amsterdam (1979); and Evidence of Body Binding, Galerie B, Montreal (1972). General Idea has been featured in several international group exhibitions, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centraal Museum, Utrecht; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Centre-Pompidou, Metz; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Maison Centrale des Artistes, Moscow; Galerija Skuc, Ljubljana; and SPIRAL, Tokyo.

Additionally, General Idea has exhibited in the Canadian Pavilion at the 40th Venice Biennale (1980) and at Documenta 7, Kassel (1982).

General Idea’s work is included in the collections of important institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Jewish Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Gent; the Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich; and the Tate, London, among others.

All images © General Idea, Inc.