General Idea, Fin de Siècle / 2015

In 2015, The Estate Show exhibition will display the monumental work Fin de Siècle by General Idea. The Canadian artists’ collective, founded at the end of the 1960’s, became famous in the 1980’s. In an unforgettable coup, they appropriated the well-known LOVE painting by Robert Indiana and replaced its four letters with AIDS, creating the now world-famous logo. Also politically engaging, Fin de Siècle can be seen as an early warning against global warning, although its semantics oversteps strictly political matters.

Fin de Siècle is a parody of a diorama in a Natural History Museum. It also has the atmosphere of Romantic landscape paintings, in particular The Wreck of the Hope or the Polar Sea by Caspar David Friedrich. Fin de Siècle represents an emotion. One can feel that these poor helpless seals are cast adrift in this blinding, featureless environment. The seals are victims. Fin de Siècle is also a spectacle, a constructivist explosion of rectangles. Fin de siècle is both cute and pathetic, cold and merciless.

The work displays three young seals lying on more than 300 panels of polystyrene recovering a surface of more than 600 square meters.

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