Gilbert & George. Death – Hope – Life – Fear

From 24 October 1985 to 12 December 1985

In their photographic work, Gilbert & George (Bolzano, Italy, 1943; Devon, UK, 1942) employ the modular grids and clean colours of advertising graphics in order to create a mode of artistic expression that can be instantly understood and accessed by everyone. The two artists continually reflect on their surrounding environment in order to gain a deeper insight into their own personal experience of everyday life, lucidly examining society’s collective repression and the profound contradictions of the human condition.
In the four works presented in this exhibition, the human condition is sublimated to four cardinal points that oppose yet interact with each other: beginning and end, pleasure and pain. The artists explore these aspects by immersing themselves in the popular street culture of East London youth, juxtaposing images of themselves with those of youths on scales that alternate between the gigantic and the minuscule, creating an oppressive, absurd effect that suggests both the physical proximity and emotional distance experienced between human beings in a modern metropolis. By investigating this relationship with “the other”, with social and cultural structures and the taboos that determine them, Gilbert & George confer an aura that is both sacred and at the same time ironic on complex emotions that, as a result of the specific way they are presented, appear on the surface as images and structures whose relevance is immediate and universal.
[A.V.]

From 24 October 1985 to 12 December 1985