The artists Gilbert & George were in magnificently foul-mouthed form at the unveiling of their exhibition The Beard Pictures and their Fuckosophy (until 28 January) at White Cube last night. Seated at the centre of an extra-long dinner table running the entire length of the gallery’s main corridor, and surrounded by walls papered with some four thousand pronouncements and mottoes all featuring the F-word, the mature Lords of Misrule delivered a live presentation of some of their choiceist Fuckosophies. These ranged from “Fucking in North Korea” to “Fuck, Fuck Hooray” and “Fuckers have Feelings too!”
The sweary scene had already been set not only by the artworks but also by special souvenir place names for “Dinner with Fucking Gilbert & George” at “Fucking White Cube Bermondsey.” Each place setting also came with a “Fucking Souvenir Menu” by the critically acclaimed Spanish chef “Fucking Jose Pizarro” with the name of every dish preceded by the inevitable F-word. So it was hardly necessary for White Cube’s founder Jay Jopling in his spirited speech to identify “profanity and depravity” as “G&G’s favourite” things, and to round it off by declaring, “G&G, fuck you!”
After Gilbert & George’s performance there was also the chance for some audience participation. All the diners, who ranged from the legendary curator Rudi Fuchs and the patron extraordinaire Maya Hoffmann to the comedian David Walliams and the author and anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinsky—the latter thankfully seated far away from the Fuckosophy sign “President Fuckabe”—were requested to don their specially provided individual Gilbert & George cardboard beards and raise their glasses in a final toast. However, with typical Gilbert & George perversity, any form of drinking was rendered impossible whilst wearing their customised face furniture, so everyone resorted to taking selfies instead.