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to be with art is all we ask

Gilbert & George / 1970

Oh art, what are you? You are so strong and powerful, so beautiful and moving. You make us walk around and around, pacing the city at all hours, in and out of our art for all room. We really do love you and we really do hate you. Why do you have so many faces and voices? You make us thirst for you and then to run from you escaping completely into a normal life-getting up, having breakfast, going to the work-shop and being sure of putting our mind and energy into the making of a door or maybe a simple table and chair. The whole life would surely be so easeful, so drunk with the normality of work and the simple pleasures of loving and hanging around for our lifetime. Oh Art, where did you come from, who mothered such a strange being. For what kind of people are you: are for the feeble-of-mind are you for the poor-at-heart are for those with no soul. Are you a branch of nature’s fantastic network or are you an invention of some ambitious man? Do you come from a long line of arts? For every artist is born in the usual way and we have never seen a young artist. Is to become an artist to be reborn, or is it a condition of life? Coming slowly over a person like the day break. It brings the art-ability to do this funny thing and shows you new possibilities for feeling and scratching at oneself and surroundings, setting standards, making you go into every scene and every contact, every touching nerve and all your senses. And Art we are driven by you at incredible speed, ignorant of the danger you are pushing and dragging us into. And yet Art, there is no going back, all roads go only on and on. We are happy for the good times that you give us and we work and wait only for these tidbits from your table. If you only knew how much these mean to us, transporting from the depths of tragedy and black despair to a beautiful life of happiness, taking us where the good times are. When this happens we are able to walk again with our heads held high. We artists need only to see a little light through the trees of the forest, to be happy and working and back into gear again. And yet, we don’t forget you. Art, we continue to dedicate our artists-art to you alone for you and your pleasure, for Art’s-sake. We would honestly like to say to you, Art how happy we are to be your sculptors. We think about all the time and feel very sentimental about you. We do realize that you are what we really crave for and many times we meet you in our dreams. We have glimpsed you through the abstract world and have tasted of your reality. One day we thought we saw you in a crowded street, you were dressed in a light brown suit, white shirt and a curious blue tie. You looked very smart but there was about your dress a curious wornness and dryness. You were walking alone, light of step and in a very controlled sense. We were fascinated by the lightness eyes and your dustly-blonde hair. We approached you nervously and then just as we neared you you went out of sight for a second and then we could not find you again. We felt sad and unlucky and at the same time happy and hopeful to have seen your reality. We now feel very familiar with you. Art. We have learned from you many of the ways of life. In our work of drawings, sculptures, living-pieces, photo messages, written and spoken pieces we are always to be seen, frozen into a gazing for you. You will never find us working physically or with our nerves and yet we shall not cease to pose for you, Art. Many times we would like to know what you would like of us, your massages to us are not always easily understood. We realize that it cannot be too simple because of your great complexity and all meaning. If at times we do not measure up or fulfill your wishes you must believe that it is not because we are unserious but only because we are unserious but only because we are artists. We ask always for our help. Art, for we need much strength in this modern time, to be only artists of a life time. We know that you are above the people of our artist-world but we feel that we should tell you of the ordinariness and struggling that abounds and we ask you if this must be. Is it right that artists should only be able to work for you for only the days when they are new, fresh and crisp. Why can’t you let them pay homage to you for all their days growing strong in your company and coming to know you better. Oh Art, please let us all relax with you. Recently Art, we thought to set ourselves the task of painting a large set of narrative views descriptive of our looking for you. We like very much to look forward to doing it and we are sure that they are really right for you.

Der Text entstammt dem Kunstwerk „To be with art is all we ask“ (1970) des britischen Künstlerduos Gilbert & George.

[Dieser Text findet sich im Reader Nr. 1 auf S. 210.]

[Es sind keine weiteren Materialien zu diesem Beitrag hinterlegt.]

Gilbert & George

Gilbert Proesch (*1943) und George Passmore (*1942) studierten beide Bildhauerei an der St. Martin’s School of Art in London. Seit 1968 präsentieren sie sich selbst mit stark stilisierten Alltagsritualen (Spazierengehen, Rauchen, Trinken etc.) als Human Sculptors. Das Paar betrachtet sich als Living Sculpture. Besonders bekannt wurden sie mit ihrer Performance „Underneath the Arches (Singing Sculpture)“, 1970. Ihre zahlreichen Karten und Publikationen, die sie unter dem Motto ‚Art for All’ veröffentlichten, bestehen aus einer Mischung von gewollter Banalität, Dilettantismus, gepaart mit einer ästhetisch-formalen Perfektion. In den 1990er Jahren entstanden piktogrammartige Großfotos, in denen die Künstler ihre Erfahrungen des Lebens mit Symbolen kombinierten.


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Gilbert & George