Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gillian Wearing

English photographer and video artist. Wearing has described her working method as ‘editing life'. By using photography and video to record the confessions of ordinary people, her work explores the disparities between public and private life, between individual and collective experience. She has an abiding fascination with articulation, with the ability to communicate clearly, honestly, succinctly; much of her work has involved drawing out people's most private thoughts, eliciting confessions about the events and ideas that hulk darkly around our subconscious. After finishing her art degree at Goldsmith's in 1990, for instance, she began the project Signs That Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs That Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say, in which she approached people in the street and asked them to write something on a piece of paper and then be photographed.

The work involved breaking down inhibitions; both hers and theirs. "You just feel like an idiot stopping people in the street," she says. "You think: why am I actually doing it?" Her answer came when a man she approached, the very image of a well-groomed, self-satisfied banker, scrawled "I'm desperate", and held it up for the camera.

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