Gilbert & George Scapegoating Pictures for Budapest
July 8, 2017 - September 24, 2017.
Over the decades, Gilbert & George have observed the evolution of their East London neighborhood and our modern world, dealing with the perpetual flux of urban life. In these pictures, the figures are acting in a way which recalls how Gilbert & George saw themselves as “living sculptures,” binding societal problematics and art together with a deadly serious way of describing a world of intense emotion, as well as its past, present and future.
These Scapegoating Pictures, all from 2013, reveal a modern western world through Gilbert & George’s sociological environment by exploring the tensions generated by the coexistence and the interaction of its inhabitants. The pictures are populated by young people from different races and backgrounds, veil-clad Muslim women, and Gilbert & George themselves, masked in some pictures or covered in small bomb-like canisters of nitrous oxide in others, adopting different guises, sometimes appearing as shattered forms. They describe, as they have always done throughout their artistic practice, our modern urban world, by tackling subjects – death, hope, life, fear, sex, money, race and religion – in an engaging and direct way.
A special souvenir catalogue accompanies the exhibition which includes a comprehensive essay by the novelist and cultural critic Michael Bracewell.
With special thanks to Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
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