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February 13, 2007

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Geoff Stevens

Nigel One comment on your notes for week 2 written after the session on Gilbert and George on Self Promotion. Viewing Epstein your notes explain your feeling that a deeper understanding of the artists intention enriched your viewing.I share your opinion. With G&G it strikes me their intention is manifest in their 1969 rules of which rule 2 struck me particularly " Make the world believe in you and pay heavily for the privilege" I recall the anecdote by George in Film 2 of the Tate Introduction when he recounts the story by E F Benson. Its plain G&G set out to earn their living through Art (for All) and thats all its about. Nice clean work, sitting down (thanks to the means to the "production values" we heard extolled last night). Does knowledge of this intent enrich the viewing experience? For me not one bit. I wonder if you felt it did? Why should this be different to Epstein? Perhaps because Torso from Rock Drill really is a beautiful and potent object (like so much in that hub, the Bonnard etc)whereas despite their volume, G&G fail in their glacially pristine, domineeringly massive posters, to offer a smattering of equivalent beauty or potency.

Michael E. Hunter

The knowledge of a work of art is the gilt frame about it. Who would want to say that it doesn't enhance it or that it may also perish and leave us with an impenetrable mystery?

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