Gilbert and George

Gilbert and George photographed every body fluid they could of their own under a microscope, to create this piece. This might be to add to their previous pieces of anger, sex and decay that their mostly known for.

After leaving art school they had little money and little known fame. They decided to send friends and other people postcards inviting them to their performance of, say ‘Gilbert and George Drinking Tea’, and the friends would turn up and literally watch them drink tea. They then became the living sculptures. Other acts included singing and more drinking, be it tea or Gin. This idea then became photographs and other images.

The idea behind using blood, sweat, urine and other bodily fluids in their work came from the notion that we should accept ourselves in every way. Also whilst looking at their fluids under microscopes they noticed that they contained forms and shapes appearing like swords and daggers in the sweat. Furthermore it became about you and you is not just in the head or heart it is all over us, we are made up of it not just in certain areas and without these functioning we would not be alive.

Furthermore all of their artwork became visual letters, they were speaking to the viewer not just a composition, they are the subject of all our thoughts, trying to put their thoughts on the wall.

Consequently they decide to collect images of things that interest them both and then find the moral dimensions within to tell the story, rather than based on there aesthetic appeal. These images then go into an image bank where they are put in contact sheet form and put onto tables for them to see and order.

Presentation

 In terms of organising the layout of their exhibitions they set out the images in a away that guides the viewer from room to room and within each room they create an emotional experience to the viewer so that the audience do not forget the image or display. The idea of forgetting an image displayed by the pair is seen as failure to them both, as in what’s the point of displaying something if the viewer is not going to remember the pieces afterwards.

The idea of the large scale pictures was a method of showing vast amount of small images in one big piece. Also the separate grid format made it easier for the pair to transport the collect around the world. Consequently this large piece grid format gave the pair a chance to have some control over the composition. This meant that the audience was not completely free to look around the image as they pleases. Therefore Gilbert & George could have some discipline and control over the emotions and feelings given to the audience as well as an order for it.

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