The exhibition open with a quote on the wall from Dickens and a text from Bracewell.
“… Gazing fearfully at the huge town before them, as if foreboding that their misery there would be but as a drop of water in the sea, or as a grain of sea-sand on the shore… Food for the hospitals, the churchyards, the prisons, the river, fever, madness, vice and death – they passed on to the monster, roaring in the distance, and were lost”. Charles Dickens, “Dombey and Son”, 1847
The exhibition is a monumental body of 292 pictures and it is the largest series yet created by the acclaimed British artists. 19 pictures will be shown in Berlin.
For five decades, to international acclaim, Gilbert & George have been making art that is visionary, shocking, relentless, moral and richly atmospheric.
In these new ‘LONDON PICTURES’ Gilbert & George present an epic survey of modern urban life in all its volatility, tragedy, absurdity and routine violence. Brutal and declamatory, these brooding and disquieting pictures have been created from the sorting and classification by subject of nearly 4000 newspaper headline posters, stolen by the artists over a number of years. In their lucidity, no less than their insight into the daily realities of metropolitan life, the ‘LONDON PICTURES’ are Dickensian in scope and ultra-modern in sensibility.
Drawing directly on the quotidian life of a vast city, the ‘LONDON PICTURES’ allow contemporary society to recount itself in its own language. Within the townscape of this moral audit, Gilbert & George appear to pass like ghosts and seers, alternately watchful and distracted, as though their spirits were haunting the very streets and buildings that these pictures describe. The ‘LONDON PICTURES’ seem to comprise a great visual novel, revealing without judgment the ceaseless relay of urban drama, in all its gradations of hope and suffering.
Text: Michael Bracewell, 2012
A catalogue documenting all 292 of the ‘LONDON PICTURES’ with an essay by Michael Bracewell accompany the exhibition and fill the shelves…
Text source: http://www.arndtberlin.com/website/page_19289