Gillian Wearing

Gillian Wearing has a method of documenting the everyday life through the use of photography and video. She concerned individual identity within the private and the public spaces, burring the line between reality and fiction. There is a concern over capturing the self-awareness of her subjects rather than the issue of aesthetics. The work of hers that comes up most often is the series Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say. This was a series of around six-hundred coloured photographs of the people of London. Here, the artist confronted strangers and asked them to write them what they were thinking, then taking a photograph of them holding this sign. Through this, Wearing was able to find a unique language which excited her. This project became very influential on everything from advertising to people doing signs for their Facebook page. Wearing continues with this unique language of confession and self-exposure through video, moving into the complexity of family dynamics and how such tensions are sometimes exacerbated when involved in public or semi-public display in her later work.

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