For These Artists, Their Medium Is Their Identity In an age when the self is ever more malleable, the act of maintaining a persona has taken performing art to a new level of commitment.
Every morning for about the past 50 years, the artists George Passmore, 81, and Gilbert Prousch, 79, have put on what they refer to as their “responsibility suits”: nearly identical, typically tweed outfits with matching ties and Church’s shoes. They read the same newspaper (The Daily Telegraph), watch the same TV show (“Law & Order”) and patronize the same restaurant (a Turkish barbecue spot), where they order the same meals until they feel sick enough to try something new. (When I visited them last December, they’d been eating a half-kebab apiece for three months.) They stroll the same narrow blocks in and around Spitalfields, the East London neighborhood where they’ve become mascots, photographing iterations of the same objects — including coins, locks and security systems — which they later catalog in binders organized by subject and year in a studio behind the 18th-century house they’ve occupied since 1968. They’ve never cooked a meal at home. They don’t even have a kitchen. Passmore described their way of living as “extraordinary freedom.”
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