Friday, June 17, 2005

Giardini - British Pavilion - No we are not in London at Madame Tussauds but still in Venice. Photographed during the photo call after the press conference Gilbert and George - *****Ginkgo Pictures 2005 are exactly what I expected and more, they do not delude the visitor - these are pure works of great art. On returning to their hotel in NYC after a successful big show Gilbert explains "We picked up these strange leaves off the pavement." They were gingko leaves and in the far East the tree is an object of veneration, associated with longevity and reputed to have miraculous powers and these properties act as a metaphor for the vital life-force that runs throughout the twenty-five pictures. The double imagery of the Ginko leaf and the symmetry of the pictorial compositions are in turn mirrored in the works. By featuring themselves in their own work they have ".... enshrined in a degree of sheer celebrity which renders them simultaneously iconic and institutional. Like both Warhol and Beuys before them, Gilbert and George make art which appeals to the vast audiences more usually claimed by rock stars." rightly writes Michael Bracewell. In fact during their whole stay in the giardini they were followed by fans, TV cameras and journalists - it was a scene!!!
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