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Elks Building Hollywood

Image Bank
35.5 × 35.5 cm

Numbered edition of 300

Elks Building Hollywood (1974, dated 1984) is a print by Vancouver’s Image Bank produced to commemorate the Decca Dance earlier that year. This series of prints were gifted to General Idea by Image Bank for their involvement and help with the event. From General Idea, the prints ended up in the inventory of Art Metropole.

The Decca Dance and the celebration of the 1,000,011th anniversary of Art, organized by Image Bank, Lowell Darling, Willoughby Sharp, Ant Farm, General Idea and the Western Front. The fall of 1973 was spent in preparation for this momentous occasion, a celebration of the Eternal Network that took place in the splendid ballroom of the former Elk’s Lodge on MacArthur Park in Hollywood. Susan Subtle, Les Petits Bonbons, John Jack Baylin, John Dowd, Irene Dogmatic, Anna Banana, Victor Coleman, Andy Graffiti and a host of correspondence artists from across North America appeared for the ritual celebration of Art’s 1,000,011th Birthday and Mail Art Awards Ceremony. The stage show, a parody of the Academy Awards, featured a male chorus resplendent in tuxedos and Shark Fin Bathing Caps moving in stately symmetry to the inimitable crooning of androgyne Pascal. It could be said to mark the peak of the mail art movement and for many signalled the end of it. Copiously documented on film, video and in print. (

Image Bank was founded in 1970 in Vancouver, Canada, by artists Michael Morris (born 1946 in Saltdean, GB), Vincent Trasov (born 1947 in Edmonton, CA) and Gary Lee-Nova (born 1943 in Toronto, CA). A model for a utopian, alternative system of art distribution operating outside institutions like the museum and the market, Image Bank engaged in an international exchange of images and correspondence by mail. Among the artists participating in the ever-growing network of exchange were (besides Morris, Trasov, and Lee-Nova) Dana Atchley, Robert Cumming, Dick Higgins, Geoff Hendricks, Glenn Lewis, Eric Metcalfe, Kate Craig, Willoughby Sharp, General Idea and Ant Farm. Image Bank maintained close ties with Ray Johnson’s New York Correspondence School as well as Robert Filliou and his concept of the Eternal Network. Using frequently changing Duchampian, gender-crossing aliases, and appropriating and reworking images and texts from mainstream media was both a subversive take on post-war individualism and consumer culture, and a way of partaking in an accelerated flow of data. At the same time, Image Bank’s production affirmed the mythological and libidinous power of mass distributed visual imagery and puns. Its interest in the idea of the fetish—which it shared with General Idea in Toronto—in rituals, and in archives shaped the collective’s manifold activities until 1978, when, due to a copyright challenge, it was renamed the Morris/Trasov Archive. (

  1. Elks Building Hollywood

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