Feb. 18, 1997 (a) Feb. 25, 1997 (b)

Column Index - Feb. 25, 1997

a)Are (Were) Gilbert & George
Really Gay, Sexists and Racists?
Yoshitaka MOURI
b)International Convention
"ASIA: Redifining the City"
Kayoko OHTA

Column Back Number Index

TV program
"South Bank Show; Gilbert and George"

Broadcast Dates:
Feb. 9, 16, 1997
10:45pm - 11:45pm

Gallery : Selected art from The Hess Collection


Gilbert and George - Reference Page

Are (Were) Gilbert & George Really Gay, Sexists and Racists?

Yoshitaka MOURI

A special TV program featuring the representative art unit of England, Gilbert & George, who call themselves "living sculptures", was aired Sunday night (not at midnight!) over two episodes. Because their works displayed at the South London Gallery a year ago comprised of an array of works exposing their own feces and anus, flabbergasting the entire country, the interest towards the program mounted among not only the art fans, but also among the general audience.

Although it is a known fact that the duo are gay, they are constantly the target of gossip. Examples of rumors say that they are married to each other, that they sleep in the same bed wearing matching pyjamas, or some say their homosexuality is part of their performance and in fact, George is married and has a child, and Gilbert has a young girlfriend (which they deny), and so on.

The objective of the TV program was not to provide answers to these gossips but was to produce an artistic program which Gerald Fox filmed over a 10 month period, a documentary of the two "living sculptures" (Fox commented that the rumor from the recent media scene that Gilbert has a wife is unthinkable).

Immediately after winning the 1986 Turner Award, Gilbert & George were labeled as racists and sexists because of their completely gay-centric aesthetics, and a difficult time continued for awhile in England for the two. However, their major comeback one year ago showed no trace of the narcissism they possessed before, and seemed to have instantly overcome the "purge" which happened in the past ten years.

I do not think that concerning this issue, they are not necessarily innocent. The success of their comeback was because they restructured their theoretical armor against such criticism. This TV program signifies the definite start of the re-assessment of Gilbert & George who continued to be the center of imagination in the world of pop and techno art, and rock history.

Moreover, looking at this from the current status of Japanese TV, the biggest shock is to see this type of special program being aired two weeks in a row, especially on a Sunday night.

[Yoshitaka MOURI/Cultural Studies]

toBottom toTop

b) International Convention
"ASIA: Redifining the City"
Kayoko OHTA

Column Back Number Index

Feb. 18, 1997 (a) Feb. 25, 1997 (b)

[home]/[Art information]/[Art Watch]

Copyright (c) Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. 1997
Network Museum & Magazine Project / nmp@nt.cio.dnp.co.jp