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-   -   Gilbert and George - Art as suicide (http://www.sculpture.net/community/showthread.php?t=5025)

Cantab 03-21-2007 08:27 AM

Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Herewith an astonishingly chilling assessment of Gilbert and George at the Tate by Germaine Greer.

ironman 03-21-2007 10:38 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Hi, Having seen a show of theirs in Leo Castelli gallery (SOHO NYC) I have to say, I'm not impressed with the work. I saw that show in the early 90's and from what I remember, I found the humor, which is a big part of their work, humorless and inane.
the concepts very shallow, not well thought out and the work, as a whole, just stupid!
It's almost as if the point of all their work is just a spoof on the art world and civilization in general and I guess it is, my problem is, it doesn't work at any level beyond, oh lets say Beavis and Butthead.
To me they're just a very poor imitation of Ray Johnson.
Have a great day,
Jeff

GlennT 03-21-2007 11:08 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
I think Germaine Greer was rather mild in assessing the work of Gilbert and George. If you want astonishingly chilling, try this:

" The work of Gilbert and George demonstrates that you can fool some of the people some of the time, make most of the people nauseous most of the time, and make big bucks while thumbing your noses at the public by wasting their time and energy with cynicism and piles of s--t."

But of course, it has to be art, because they say so.

Sure, G & G are entitled to play their cute little game, but that does not mean that the public or art critics have to become enablers. What is so astonishing about Greer calling it as seen?

GlennT

Cantab 03-22-2007 07:36 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
I wouldn’t want to get into the issue of whether G&G are good or not, or whether they are just in it for the 'big bucks'. The 'only in it for the money' argument is a no brainer for me. You simply cannot know this, and if you object to the work, then offer a sensible critique. Regardless of what I think, they will end up with a place in the histories of British Art in the 20th century. (Personally, I appreciated what they were doing early on in their careers, when they began using the stained glass lines, and used the stained glass format in an ironic way (offering homoerotic and psyche-sexual material in what was a religious artistic format). This was interesting, and speaks of the 'religion' they have made of art. If nothing else, their love of art has been as fundamental to their lives as it is to us, which I respect.

The thing that astonishes me relates to G&G’s elevation of themselves to the status of art object, and Greer’s assessment of this. I don’t follow the critical assessment of artists too closely, but to see Greer offer this assessment of the psychological ‘death’ of one member of the team (and name the one subjugated) was, at least for me, daring, and rather chilling, if true.

evaldart 03-22-2007 09:50 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
If I could figure out how to "become" a sculpture I would. I've hit myself with a hammer, cut myself with saws, re-configured my physique, glued myself and even welded myself over the years. But I remain flesh and blood. Damn.

Cantab 03-22-2007 04:42 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
But, don't sculptors 'form' themselves a little bit like they form their work? Isn't there a parallel between being a sculptor and making a sculpture? Isn't that one of the joys of being a sculptor? That you invent yourself as something good, even beautiful? I know so many artists who pride themselves in becoming artists, rather than becoming insurance salesmen....

Araich 03-23-2007 02:06 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cantab
I know so many artists who pride themselves in becoming artists, rather than becoming insurance salesmen....

I feel that I am going in the other direction. The endless knocks, the poverty, the rejections and the general disinterest shown, have worn me down. If by my art I am remaking myself, then I fear that it is into a lesser man.

Greer has an axe to grind, and it shows in this critique.

RWJR 03-23-2007 10:06 AM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
your body & mind gradually gets worn out and dies, but your spirit gradually gets transfered to the body of work you leave behind. Better keep working!

jOe~ 03-23-2007 12:00 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Quote:

If by my art I am remaking myself, then I fear that it is into a lesser man.
Wrong, wrong, wrong! By whose standards??? You can not denigrate your accomplishments, your work , and your self as a creative person because the work doesn't support you. As much as financial poverty sucks, an impoverished soul is just as bad. Both forms of poverty will kill you. Reaching some form of compromise won't make you a lesser man. Being self critical will.

take care, jOe~

marblecutter 03-23-2007 02:31 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
$206M (U.S.) found in Mexico City house

"MEXICO CITY – Police have found $206 million in cash, belonging to drug smugglers who imported chemicals used to make meth-amphetamines, piled inside a mansion in a wealthy Mexico City neighborhood, officials said Friday.

Police arrested seven people at the house. They found wads of hundreds of dollars stuffed in drawers, suitcases and closets around the house.

They also seized six Mercedes Benz vehicles and two other cars along with seven firearms, 200,000 euros and machinery used to make tablets.

The raid was one of the first dramatic successes in a clampdown on drug cartels launched by Mexican President Felipe Calderon shortly after he took office in December."
The above quote is from Reuters
-----------------
No artist should become self-destructive because his or her art does not sell, while drug traffickers have no problem amassing large sums of money. Why can't artists do the same rather than consider themselves as contented starving artists. Are people more thirsty for drugs than for art?
A true artist who considers him or her self starving, should never patronize the tobacco, alcohol and drug industries, as these three vices may lead to suicidal tendencies.
cm

Cantab 03-23-2007 04:03 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Araich - I've admired your work in the past, and a recent visit to your website makes me wonder why you aren't doing well. It's a pity that artists themselves cannot do more to support the community of artists. Although, having said that, I know a number of local artists who do well by being involved with grant-funded arts centres, and by teaching. In the UK, Wysing Arts at Cambridge is an example of such a centre (Google it). There are NO artists there doing better work than you, and all are doing well financially.

Araich 03-23-2007 05:35 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cantab
... makes me wonder why you aren't doing well.

That's the thing. I sell well and for relatively high prices but what drives me now is a desire to engage greater and more serious content. This folly has lead me to spend ever greater sums on projects and burden my dreams with difficult and complex ideas.

None of this has made me happier, indeed it is the reverse.

The overwhelming indifference of an artworld that increasingly looks like disneyland, and a public who largely fails to pack it's brain when travelling to an exhibition, has made me reassess my motives.

The long hours and isolation that makes for the great art of ones own hand comes at a high cost. A cost not only to your pocket.

jOe~ 03-24-2007 12:03 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Quote:

The overwhelming indifference of an artworld that increasingly looks like disneyland, and a public who largely fails to pack it's brain when travelling to an exhibition, has made me reassess my motives.
Man, the public, the average, would rather be at the mall or in front of a tv given a choice. Don't ask them to think--it would start a revolution--the greatest in history--they might might even decide that killing for ideas, or religion, or power, or for peace is wrong. They might open their eyes and hearts. That is what is required for artists to assume their proper place in society...a revolution in consciousness. Maybe more art will get it started. Nothing else has worked.
jOe~

jssculptor 03-24-2007 01:19 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Araich
That's the thing. I sell well and for relatively high prices but what drives me now is a desire to engage greater and more serious content. This folly has lead me to spend ever greater sums on projects and burden my dreams with difficult and complex ideas.

None of this has made me happier, indeed it is the reverse.

The overwhelming indifference of an artworld that increasingly looks like disneyland, and a public who largely fails to pack it's brain when travelling to an exhibition, has made me reassess my motives.

The long hours and isolation that makes for the great art of ones own hand comes at a high cost. A cost not only to your pocket.

Fewwww Robert, hope you wrote this on a bad day. Just had a look at your website. Very interesting work, I know what you mean but I envy the fact that you appear to at least sell quite a lot of work. Believe me enjoy the isolation, I have to work part-time as a custodian in an Abbey here in England to try and keep the wolf from the door, keep a false smile on my face and talk to all those people about mostly innane stuff, those same people who would rather buy a wide screen TV than an original artwork...but thats life. I'm not taking your comments lightly really...just keep doing it and what does happiness have to do with it? Though I must say I am generally happier now broke and making what I want to than I was as an art director with plenty of money and making Sh!t.

And I bet the sun is shining where you are?

All the best
John

Cantab 03-28-2007 04:05 PM

Re: Gilbert and George - Art as suicide
 
Ariach - I agree with the above. Thing is, if the mall is the alternative, then there really isn't an alternative at all. I'm reading a little book by Tim Krabbe at the moment. Called 'The Rider'. (My second love in life is cycling). The book is about the hell of a cycle race. He starts with the following:
" Meyrueis, Lozere, June, 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."
Read the book, you'll never think of walking away from art again.


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