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The Beard as a history bag

As always, they appear in their thick suits made of Tweed. Two English Gentlemen with thinning hair, fallen out of time. Gilbert is wearing Pink. George is wearing Green. In the breast pocket of their jackets, a Golden pen shines. The ties are very colorful, the shoes are a striking light brown calf leather stitched. Everything is perfectly matched.

The two artists are among the greats of contemporary British art . You are, since the 1960s, a pair of artists. A living sculpture, as they say.

A bit unsure of the older gentlemen (Gilbert 75, George 77). On this January afternoon by measure, the hands on the a little stiff become back crossed, the Restaurant of the art fair Brafa. The tradition-rich event will take place in the North of the historical centre of Brussels. Over 100 art and antique dealers, primarily from Belgium, France and the Netherlands, to keep their precious wares under the roof of a great warehouse, from the Thurn und Taxis family at the beginning of the 20th century. Century built.

Extremely conservative

Gilbert and George as guests of honor loaded. Explain your large format images, of which a selection is. And journalists will be available to answer questions.

In an interview with this newspaper, they are also reflected to its political stance. It is considered to be extremely conservative, which fits for self-staging as an English Gentlemen quite well. Less conservative is that the two have a gay Couple, and in 2008 married. George says: "We consider the matter with Trump completely free of prejudice. All the people we know in the world of art, have the same default position. The seller is in a Museum shop or the Director have the same opinion. Something must be wrong."

Gilbert adds: "But we don't want to hang on the big bell. Trump is extraordinary, because he survived all attacks on him. Even in London, in the BBC, the news in half-hour rhythm of America. Trump is the most famous Person in the world. Whether he's right or wrong, that's something else." The Brexit is played with Team concrete. George seems to think in categories of the "Longue durée". He remembers the Second world war. It was a deep incision. But the Brexit? This will not change much.

Gilbert justified in his criticism of the European Union: "I think the question of national sovereignty is very important. England must make its own laws. The common market started as an Economic Association of decreased trade barriers. That was a good one. Now Brussels wants to make a super-state. This is wrong."

"Switzerland has started it better"

"Everything," continues Gilbert, "about ten years ago, when England, out of the blue a Million Polish immigrants had to cope with. After a half a Million people from Romania. We now have four million people from Europe. The Problem is the Rigidity with which the European idea is enforced. All of these non-elected politicians, who decide what we have to do. We are responsible of our own lives. Switzerland has it as better, even if it is also very much involved in Europe."

George builds the bridge from politics to art: "The European project goes in the direction of a stronger Integration of the individual parts. But we are artists and don't want to, that is integrated as an artist." Gilbert continued playing with the thought: "If this continues, then it will soon be allowed to be a free artist. Then all you need to make Minimal Art. Then all of the concept art. But that is not the essence of art. The artist must be as free as possible. Therefore, we have resolved ourselves from the bubble of the art world and try to make our visual art, which will bring our intentions to the best representation. It is our art, this is important, not ours."

Gilbert compares the sermon on the joint work with Jesus': "We project our sermons on the wall. It is our Vision of the world. Our morality in the world. We are the center of our art world. We are the Visionaries, Gilbert and George, the talk in your images to the world and your feelings."

"We are artists and do not want, that it becomes more and more integrated."

George chanted phrases that he has so or almost so probably also elsewhere been said: "It is our mental view of the world. The Moral of the Aesthetics, this is something Extraordinary. The way the world is, morally. The morale of the Church is dead, because it is at a standstill. Everything that comes from Religion, is carved in stone. We, as human beings, but the Moral of Oscar Wilde, who had to die for it; we have changed the world." They see themselves as atheists? "We refer to ourselves as infidels," says George. Gilbert calls Secular in-between: "". And George: "Everybody in this building is Greek, Roman, judäisch and Christian. More or less. That makes up our society. Whether we like it or not."

"The world," says Gilbert, "is a much better place without God." And George added in this Ping-Pong: "We thank God for the enlightenment and the industrial Revolution. Both have changed our lives fundamentally."


Gilbert and George on the walls of the grip in your images, like to current problems. In the newer series of the "Beard"Pictures, there is the inevitable beards for young men, as well as to fences and walls should everywhere be raised.

"We need to have the Beard on our images as a history bag, we can pack everything into it," says Gilbert. "Not problems or issues are to be seen on our images, but answers. We can show you solutions. It's our all in all, optimistic view on the world and to feelings. The solutions are then different for each Person. This depends on the respective cultural Background."

The art fair Brafa in Brussels is still up 3.2. to see.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 27.01.2019, 19:07 PM

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