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Gilbert and George, allegedly Britain's greatest living artists, have opened their new exhibition in which they display their bums and naughty bits, surrounded by piles of you-know-what. Anyone who pooh-poohs the idea that this is art should be grateful that, in a society where any comedian desperate for a laugh knows they'll get one through the mere mention of botties, knickers, turds or even the loo, there are some in the cultural vanguard brave enough to stop farting around, cut the crap and drag the cack out of the can and into the pissoir of public debate.

Maybe Gilbert and George are just arseholes, perhaps they agree with W B Yeats that "love has placed its palace in the place of excrement," but the truth is that nothing raises a British (or German for that matter) giggle and blush more readily than talk of bogs and poops and wee-wee. Even if the show is, as some say, nothing but piss and wind, it can only be liberating, after years of saying you're going to spend a penny, powder your nose in the little girl's room or that you're going to the kazi for a pony, to stop piddling around and come out of the gents fighting the cause of crap as art and vice-versa. Not to recognise this is surely not to know your arse from your elbow and exhibit a complete lack of bottle in the face of being taken short a long way from the metaphysical jacksie.

When a man goes to the john to point Percy at the porcelain or wet the proverbial boots, is he no more than a piss artist, a mere Richard the Third, or is he, as some have been saying from arseholes to breakfast time, a cultural warrior prepared to put his tush where his mouth is and ride the porcelain Honda where others fear to tread?

Just when it seemed that we were in deep doo-doo and British art was going down the pan, Gilbert and George have come out of the water closet and, though clearly looking out for number one - and number two - slashed the canvas of convention and dumped a conundrum on the art world. What a piss-off not to have their talent and vision. Don't it make your brown eyes blue?

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