September 11, 2011 - Laznia Centre For Contemporary Art - Gilbert & George and Brit Cult Festival
September 11, 2011

Gilbert & George and Brit Cult Festival

Gilbert&George, “Jack Freak Pictures,” 2008.

Exhibition of Gilbert & George and
Brit Cult Festival

10 November 2011–5 February 2012

ul. Jaskolcza 1
80-767 Gdansk, Poland

According to the writer Michael Bracewell, Jack Freak Pictures comprise the single largest group of pictures that Gilbert & George have ever created. It is a monumental presentation of art, at once thematically episodic, confluent in motif and temper, and densely layered with emotional meaning. One pictorial element, however, the red, white and blue design of the Union Jack flag (itself an abstract, geometric pattern) appears to dominate this vivid and disquieting group. Strident, even jocular, this internationally recognized symbol, in all its connotations, from national pride and pageantry to Pop-cultural cool and civic disobedience, transmits its resonance across myriad social and cultural frequencies. Its historic and symbolic presence serves as both heart and spine of the Jack Freak Pictures, at once declamatory, iconic, multi-layered and irrefutable.

The exhibition is organised in cooperation with British Council. Gilbert & George themselves have selected the pictures to be presented, designed the exhibition and are responsible for its merit concept. Jack Freak Pictures presentation in Gdansk will consist of 39 pictures and will take up the whole exhibition space of CCA Laznia.

The exhibition of Gilbert & George has become a pretext to present British culture in a slightly wider context. In order to achieve it, we have decided to organise BRIT CULT FESIVAL in November and December 2011. Through a series of cultural events accompanying the exhibition we aim to show the most interesting phenomena of contemporary art and British culture, focus on its language, current trends, tendencies, and directions. Our goal is to present the art of established artists as well as the immense potential of the young generation. We would make an attempt at bringing Polish public closer to British arts.

The festival is mainly about getting to know British arts, culture, identity, nature of the nation and investigating if the cliché, sometimes caricature-like image of a typical Brit is anywhere near the reality. Gilbert & George approach the subject with deadly seriousness and humour but at the same time they are sympathetic and thoughtful. Concentrating on the symbols, traditions, national icons—and through juggling with forms and conventions—they make the viewers think deeply about the human nature and philosophy of life. We would like to follow these tracks, or even go one step further, and have a closer look at contemporary British culture, explore visual arts, music and film—often in reference or comparison to art of Gilbert & George.


10 November

11 November

12–18 November

19 November
CUT HANDS – experimental music concert

25– 26 November
BAA! BEST OF BRITISH ANIMATION – screenings of the best British animations (1994–2010)

1 December
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS AN OBJECT – British avant-garde video preview (from the collection of LUX arts agency) with a lecture by Gil Leung

2 December
WHY NOT IN THE STREET? – streetart talk with STIK and Iwona Zajac

6–10 December
SPACE FEST! – shoegaze, space-rock and alternative music festival and workshops.

Organised by Laznia Centre for Contemporary Arts in Gdansk and British Council
Initiator of the exhibition realisation in Gdansk: Jadwiga Charzyńska
Exhibition coordinator and curator of BRIT CULT: Anna Szynwelska

Honorary Patrons of the Project:
• Polish Presidency of the European Union Council
• Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Bogdan Zdrojewski
• Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship, Mieczysław Struk
• Mayor of the City of Gdansk, Paweł Adamowicz

Project supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland

For interviews or other questions please contact:
Katarzyna Stenczyk, PR coordinator:
Anna Szynwelska, Project manager:

Gilbert & George and Brit Cult Festival
Laznia Centre For Contemporary Art
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