Brushes with Culture

This is a space where I can reflect on the many fascinating things that I experience. Some of the things I brush with are Culture with a capital C. Others are just intriguing moments. Sometimes I am brushing with these moments in a hurry. This is a chance to relive those moments in tranquility. These are the stories I tell myself in those quieter moments.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Do Gilbert and George have Surnames?

I gave myself 25 minutes in the run-up to meeting someone at Tate Modern last Thursday to whiz through the Gilbert and George retrospective. I knew that I wouldn't need longer and I was right. It's all so in-yer-face.

Nonetheless I enjoyed it far more than I could have hoped and spent a happy few minutes after my spree in contemplation of the wonders I had seen (my dining companion was late...). It was again worth the membership.

And this is what I have to say:
In Gilbert&George's world there are no women. There are lots of fey and less fey men. Some have pineapple tops from the mid-80s. Around the same time there are shots of Gilbert&George's bums in suits, and of their genitals. And then there are the spunk pictures, which at first seem designed to shock. But in the lull between the racism of the early days, the punk vibe, the austerity 80s, blasphemy, homelessness, the new stuff on terror and Islam, in between all this social commentary like a walk through the indignation I was reared on, there's a fallow section where piss, shit, blood and spunk all get to appear on the same canvas and it's a moment of Buddhism. Maybe I'm missing the anger - my name doesn't start with a G.

Are these artists homosexuals?

Note to the afficionados: I wore red and black. It was a stealth visit.


Post a Comment

<< Home