To create truly great art, one needs to “be” art. It’s not by chance that the retrospective was named “ The Great Exhibition , 1971-2016, at the Luma of Arles. After all, Gilbert & George always wanted to do things “in grande”: a dandy couple of timeless dedication, making jokes at the status-quo, transcending political correctness and British conventions, with that typically British innate unholy spirit. That same spirit can be compared with that other great, courageous group of defenders of the “plausible” known as Month Python, working from 1969 just like these two artists.
Gilbert Proesch was born in South Tyrol, George Passmore comes from Plymouth. They have always searched for (and found) different ways to create tears in the fabric of our society, from their first black and white work to the big screen of later years: from the Union Jack wallpaper covering their bodies, to religious symbols and provocative sexuality; nothing institutionalised was safe from their irreverent artistic investigation. Nothing could stop them.
This gives us all a great excuse to pay a visit to the Luma, in Arles that was so dear to Van Gogh, to get to know the work of these two unstoppable and revolutionary gentlemen.