A Morning with Gilbert & George

Piss Mooning
Gilbert & George Piss Mooning (1996)

Unlike Hollywood celebrities, contemporary iconic art figures rarely visit Australia. I had a glimpse of Gilbert & George in the talk at COFA. I did not know which one was which but it did not really matter because they declared that they were two people and one artist. Fair point.

Unfortunately, just over an hour could not even briefly represent 40 years of the career. And I thought of live tweet but was afraid I’d get lost along the way. So here is some point I caught they made in the morning:

  • Even though they didn’t have a studio, at least, they were well dressed from the start of the career. “We are the subject of our art.”
  • Singing Sculpture became Drinking Sculpture.
  • Shit asks questions, apple doesn’t.
  • If your images don’t grab the audience, you lose them.
  • An artist doesn’t change the world, the emotion from the viewers from the arts could.
  • When they are creating an artwork, everything they see is not the same as normal and it changes back when the work is finished.
  • Istanbul is their favourite city because the chaos. Chaos creates tolerance and they depend on it for their works.
  • They never look back and believe in new ideas. Society changes but a picture doesn’t.
  • No alcohol or food in their house and they only drink outside or a tiny bit when having guests in the house.
  • Question
    • Q: Do you disagree? (working together)
    • A: Oh! That’s a great heterosexual question.
    • Later explanation: They don’t use artistic hands, just idea and tools like computers.
  • You have to be very organised otherwise you get lost in your archives.
  • They are optimistic about the world right now and believe in connecting to world.
  • Two pieces of advises:
    1. Each day, before you get out of the bed, tell yourself “What do I want to tell the world today.”
    2. Fuck the teachers!

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