General Assn. is the art/anthropology duo Alyssa Grossman and Selena Kimball. Our work (films, writing, experimental research) can be viewed as a contemporary form of Surrealist ethnography. Incorporating a diverse range of methods, approaches and forms (montage, the cut-up, epistolary dialogue, flânerie, Situationist-style dérive, interviews, auto-ethnography, long-term participant-observation) to collaboratively explore contemporary cultural narratives, site-based histories and their everyday material traces, General Assn. works within, between and beyond art and anthropology. Our practice draws inspiration both from empirical science and absurd play, sustained scholarly reflection and the intuitive twists and pulls of our own longstanding friendship.
Our films and installations have been exhibited internationally over the last twenty years, with screenings at the Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, Netherlands (2014); the National Museum of Estonia, Tartu (2013); the Arkipel international documentary and experimental film festival, Indonesia (2013); Future Perfect gallery, Singapore (2013); the 6th Bangkok experimental film festival (2012); and Ethnographic Terminalia/the Eastern Bloc Centre for New Media and Interdisciplinary Art, Montreal (2011), among others.
Alyssa Grossman is a visual anthropologist whose work spans the themes of cultural memory, critical heritage, material and visual culture, ethnographic filmmaking, and the intersections between anthropology and contemporary art. Her fieldwork primarily has been in Romania, investigating sites and practices of remembrance work in post-communist Bucharest, with a focus on everyday objects, landscapes, images and discourses of memorialization. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool.
Selena Kimball is a visual artist whose work—large-scale photomontage, installation, and book projects—--examines visual perceptions of history by reimagining the photographic collections (archives, printed books, newspapers) that document these events. She lives and works in Maine and in New York City where she is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art Practice and co-director of the Observational Practices Lab at Parsons, the New School.