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<span class="title">GILBERT & GEORGE
Interview in November 2017 by François Jonquet — That is true …
<br><u>Gilbert</u> — … it wouldn’t have been possible.
<br><i><u>François Jonquet</u> — You wrote: “Being <span class="artwork">Living Sculpture</span>, is our life blood and our destiny, our passion and our disaster, our light and our life.”<sup>1</sup> How is it a disaster ?</i>
<br><u>Gilbert</u> — Because in some ways, we are trapped inside a G&G sculpture. We had to lead some incredible battles to succeed. Destructive battles. We wrote the book The Dark Shadow (in 1974). The title really represents our state of mind at the time.
Once again, we were just country boys. We were naive and then we bought the newspapers, watched the television… We understood the world better.
George — … and then the word disaster also concerns the world, because so many people are unhappy at the moment. So many people in prison waiting to die. It has to be there, too. Would they believe in a happy artist? I don’t think so.
<br><u>Gilbert</u> — We had just left school when, suddenly, we sold a work to Conrad Fischer, for 1,000 pounds. A huge sum at the time! We never would have believed it.
We got a small fee for <i>Singing Sculpture</i>, and that was everything! And so, we went… mad! For years!
We went out with loads of people, we were able to pay for everybody. We drank, danced. We were corrupted by money.
<br><i><u>François Jonquet</u> — Did the series “Fundamental Pictures,” launched in 1996, its chef d’œuvre <span class="artwork">Blood Tears Spunk Piss</span>,
shown here in the exhibition, represent a stage in the adventures of <span class="artwork">Living Sculpture</span> ?
It meant digging deep down inside, looking into the infinitesimally small parts of our organism.</i>
<br><u>George</u> — Once again, everything happened by accident: we used to take photos of raindrops on windscreens.
They are all different, if you look closely. They made us think of piss. We already had piss in our images, a liquid that we tinted yellow.
As we wanted it to be real piss, we bought a microscope and we put a drop of piss as perfect as the raindrops on the cars on it. Then we went and watched the television,
had dinner, and when we came back to turn the microscope off, we had a look, and what did we see? An extraordinary magical garden with the strangest configuration you’ve
ever seen! The next day, it had changed. Sometimes, there were pistols, machine guns, sticks, other times, there were crucifixes.
<br><u>Gilbert</u> — Sometimes it got smaller and that created shadows, landscapes, views of mountains that reminded me of where
I was born [Gilbert was born in a village in the Dolomites]. Then, in the blood, we found Islamic calligraphy, graffiti. Then tears, cum, it was magnificent.
The inside of ourselves had a visual power.
<br><i><u>François Jonquet</u> — Do you see your images as self-portraits?</i>
<br><u>Gilbert & George —No!
<br><u>George</u> — That never even crossed our minds. Strangely, we believe they are more about the spectator than ourselves.
People can relate to them. They feel liberated when they see our images. They can say what they want.
<br><u>Gilbert</u> — <span class="artwork"><i>Living Sculpture</i></span> expresses and projects thoughts outside of itself. We can see the piss, shit, unhappiness, flowers, tears.
<span class="artwork"><i>Singing Sculpture</i></span> had its limits: we could only keep doing it for three or four months. But with our images and their different combinations,
what we were able to say became limitless. Creating an extraordinarily powerful testimony to ourselves. We expressed ourselves from inside the images.
To write an article about us, all you have to do is quote the titles of the images, they tell our story.
<br>9 hand-dyed gelatin silver prints with silver leaf
<br>181,7 × 151,7 cm (total)
<br>25 hand-dyed gelatin prints in artist’s frames
<br>304,8 × 254 cm (total)
<i>Blood Tears Spunk Piss</i>, 1996
<br>68 hand-dyend gelatin silver prints in artist’s frame
<br>337,8 × 1207 cm (total)