Shut the Fuck Up

1984, 14 min, color, sound

From "Video Art in Canada" - V Tape

"...Using ironic and iconic excerpts from television and film from the 1960s, such as The Joker character from Batman and part of the historic footage of artist Yves Klein's painting and performance from Mondo Cane, General Idea examine the relationship between the mass media and the artist. Recalling Klein's use of 'IKB' — International Klein Blue or chroma-key blue — they revisit their own performance of XXX blue (1984), at Centre d'art Contemporain in Geneva, where the artists painted large Xs using stuffed poodles dipped in blue paint. The video reveals the meaning of language and iconography in their work, and provides some background for their choice of poodles as mascot and metaphor. As Felix Partz comments: 'Those who live to please, must please to live.'

In Shut the Fuck Up, General Idea underline the media's insistence that only gossip and spectacle make art and artists interesting to the public. On the contrary, General Idea point out, artists are no fools, nor do they operate within "a passive yet cleverly deceitful, alienated cult of the imbecile.' Jorge Zontal has the last word: 'When there is nothing to say, shut the fuck up.'"

Music: Riz Ortolani, Nina Oliviero, from the Soundtrack of Mondo Cane, United Artists Records. Camera: Paul Malle, Howard Goldberg. Video Production: Arrow Video Studios, Amsterdam.

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