Shop > Artists' Books


Glamour is Theft: A User's Guide to General Idea

Art Gallery of York University
Artists' Books
21 × 26 × 2.7 cm

Text by Philip Monk.

From its origins in the mail art movement through to its “destruction” of The 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion in 1977, the Canadian collective General Idea constructed a comprehensive body of work as a performative fiction. Glamour Is Theft examines this “pageantry of camp parody” through the logic of its mythic system. The book reconstructs this system from statements that were dispersed and disguised within General Idea’s work and writing as a whole, including the publication FILE Megazine. In General Idea’s system, there is one concept: Glamour; one operation: reversibility; one technique: cut-up; one strategy: theft; one tactic: camouflage. Following the collective’s strategies, the book in turn mimics the language of structuralist and semiological publications of the 1970s while also considering the influences of Roland Barthes, William Burroughs, Guy Debord, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Marshall McLuhan on General Idea’s work.

  1. Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea

Related Items

  1. the Laboratory of Insurrectionary: A User’s Guide to [Demanding] the Impossible by Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
  2. General Idea and Image Bank: Golden Streams: Artists’ Collaboration and Exchange in the 70’s
  3. General Idea and George Saia: Shoe Journal: by George Saia, a General Idea production
  4. Ziggurat: General Idea 1968-1994
  5. Mimi Paige (Miss General Idea): Colours of the Spectrum series
  6. Yvon Julie: F.U.N. Frogs United in Nihilism: Club Guide Book
  7. Prospekt 80/2: Canada
  8. Nicosia This Week: An Unofficial Guide to the Biennial that Never Was
  9. Klassik 1989-2005
  10. Robert Dayton: The Canadian Romantic
  11. Kevin Schmidt: How to Make a Large Format Photograph of the Horizon from the Edge of Space
  12. Dani Montlleó: Doppelgänger Goldfinger
  13. Bill Burns: Three Books and an Audio CD About Plants and Animals and War
  14. Melanie Counsell: Drinking Fountain:1998
  15. Bojana Stancic and Alex Wolfson: And so, the animal looked back....
  16. Oliver Husain: Spoiler Alert
  17. Daniel Olson: Ontarion Arts Council, meeting new challenges
  18. Daniel Olson: Cinematheque Ontario
  19. Manuel Arturo Abreu and Rafaela Dražić: Incalculable Loss
  20. Steffanie Ling: Nascar
  21. Jingyuan Huang: The Confucius City and its Museum
  22. Susanne Kriemann: Ashes and Broken Brickwork of a Logical Theory
  23. Ryan Kerr: On Growin’ Up…a guide
  24. David Horvitz: How To Shoplift Books
  25. I was happy then
  26. Huang He: Master Q’s Guide to Virtual Feng Shui
  27. Jim Miller: Flippin’ Harris: A Brief History of Cuts
  28. Bas Jan Ader: Discovery File 143/76
  29. Jürg Lehni and Alex Rich: Things To Say
  30. POCKET BOOK Vol. 1
  31. Marit Paasche: Lives & Videotapes