'The Singing Sculpture'
'The Shrubberies Number 1'
'The Shrubberies Number 2'
16–21 August 1973
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
29 August – 2 September 1973
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
For Project 3 in 1973, Gilbert & George presented 'The Singing Sculpture' in both Sydney and Melbourne, merging sculpture and performance and bringing art into everyday life. With their faces and hands painted with a mix of bronze-coloured metallic powder and Vaseline, and a table as their plinth, they sang along to the song of two Depression-era tramps, ‘Underneath the arches’, slowly repeating a series of gestures and circling mechanically like figures inside a music box. Gilbert & George are now among the most famous living British artists, known for their signature billboard-sized pictures in bright neon colours, showing them together, suited or naked, among a kaleidoscope of images and symbols. 'The Singing Sculpture' is now recognised as the art piece that launched their career. It embodied and communicated their idiosyncratic personae and the concept of ‘living sculpture’ that has informed their lives and art over 40 years.