George: "We live according to very normal rules. We behave decently. We want to achieve something in our lives. We are not interested in art, but in life. We are normal, uneducated, conservative, plain and ordinary."

Gilbert: "We are liberal and radical. We love extremism. But it must move within a system, an order."

George: "We're not opposed to the establishment. After all, we want to work within this system."

Gilbert: "We are working on a Gesamtkunstwerk. And we are working on it together, from beginning to end. We are a one-man show. We say: we are one person."

(Interview with Klaus Ahrens, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, No. 17, 04/26/1991, p. 32-41)

Gilbert & George met in 1967 when they were students in London and have been working together ever since. In the late '60s, they appeared in public or in exhibitions as "living sculptures" or "singing sculptures". Since these early performances, Gilbert & George have been developing their pictures based on images of their own bodies or their own portraits. Time and again, they display their own identity in relation to various aspects of society, culture, religion, sexuality and politics. On the one hand, Gilbert & George always appear as anonymous representatives of the social individual, on the other, however, it is precisely by standardising and stylising their own persons that they have succeeded in making their own image as well as their first names an artistic signum. As icons of British art, Gilbert & George have been, and still are, extremely influential for the younger generations of artists, and their approach of a readily comprehensible pictorial language as well as a radical idealism continue to count as path-breaking.

At Portikus, Gilbert & George display a new series of photographic works entitled "Nine Dark Pictures", which in terms of content concentrate very strongly on the relationship of the individual to religious, social and political conflicts. The pictures make use of a popular symbolism of political and religious protest, show architecture as an expression of social differences and are thus the declaration of a radical understanding of democracy.

The exhibition is presented by Schroders Private Bank.