The World of Gilbert & George

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Art world dabblings with the fringe culture of the New Right bear all the slightly risible hallmarks of a hermetically-sealed conceptual con(troversy), though there are apparently some who claim the status of key political text for this Arts Council-funded effort. A first film by the 'living sculpture' pose-artists, the Morecambe and Wise of sober-suited, straight-faced pretension, it's a cumulatively noxious set of discreet statements, visual and musical quotes, and appropriated testimonies representing a claimed triumph of the artistic will over national decay and the inarticulate dead end. A manifesto for a troublesome, truthless Beauty, it's a thoughtfully cinematic provocation that inventively formalises the clich├ęs of agit-prop and turns them around, but probably further marginalises itself in the process. Odd, though, that 'Jerusalem' makes as much sense ending this as it did Chariots of Fire.

By: PT

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