|Between 1971 and 1987, General Idea painstakingly built a complex mythological edifice in order to internalize, as well as comment upon, the art world. The Boutique was part of this series of projects, conceived for the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion, a decentralized structure consisting of various installations dispersed around the world, forming an autonomous "museum" unrelated to its host sites. Shaped like a dollar sign, the Boutique functions as a museum shop within the exhibition space, blurring the lines between art and commerce, offering a selection of General Idea's extensive production of publications and multiples "for sale." Earlier installations of the Boutique featured a live salesperson, performatively heightening its sense of functional and locational impropriety.
The Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion. 1980.
Galvanized metal and plexiglass, containing various General Idea multiples, prints, posters, and publications, overall: 60 1/2 x 133 1/2 x 102" (153.7 x 339.1 x 259.1 cm). Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Gift of Sandra Simpson 1998. © 1980 General Idea. Photo: courtesy AA Bronson