Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Bermondsey Review: Gilbert and George Scapegoating Pictures at the White Cube

Just when you thought it was time to give up on 21st Century contemporary art, Gilbert and George return to Bermondsey Street and make you question why we ever doubted it.

Scapegoating Pictures is the latest exhibition at the White Cube by the provocative septuagenarians, examining ‘fundamentalism, religion, paranoia, surveillance and victimhood’.  Old friends of the Bermondsey gallery, the pair present over sixty new works placing themselves, as always, at the centre of each piece.
Photograph Copyright 2014 @LexisAgency
So... how to put this?
Shebang (2013)
It was bloody awful and far too red; yet thrilling, enchanting and highly addictive.  Unflinchingly offensive to Christian, Jew and Muslim, yet oozing charm and chutzpah.  Terribly frightening and intimidating, yet delightfully easy on the eye.  It was complete and utter rubbish, while also being classically brilliant art.
Astrostar (2013)
The three-part title piece Scapegoating  (2013) is disgusting, forcing one to leave, whilst being at the same time simply mesmeric, commanding the viewer to wonder and stay (being confronted by images of white middle-aged men made up as beetles surrounded by three-word insults including ‘Mollest a Mullah’, has an anaesthetic-like effect on the body and mind).

Scapegoating (2013) - 1 of 3
Much contemporary art leaves the viewer cold and sterile.  Gilbert and George’s work provokes a violently confusing response, that ends in pleasure – doublethink that one is completely aware of.

Bodypoppers (2013)
Is this ‘Art for All'?  It will only be judged so if working-class Bermondsey man and woman appreciates and hates it in equal measure.  Gilbert and George would want nothing less.  Nitrous oxide, anyone?
Sweet Air Sweet Air (2013)

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the art in this exhibition is not suitable for children.

More information:

White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 3TQ Tel: 020 7930 5373

Opening Times:

Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Scapegoating (2013) - 2 of 3

Canister found on Tower Bridge Road - 'hippy crack'?

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