15
Jun
12

Exhibition: ‘Gillian Wearing’ at Whitechapel Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 28th March – 17th June 2012
Galleries 1, 8 and Victor Petitgas Gallery

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Many thankx to the Whitechapel Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Gillian Wearing
Dancing in Peckham
1994
Colour video with sound
25 minutes
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
Self Portrait at 17 Years Old
2003
Framed C-type print
115.5 x 92 cm
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
HELP
1992-3
From the series Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say
C-type print mounted on aluminium
Dimensions variable
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
I’M DESPERATE 
1992-3
From the series Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say
C-type print mounted on aluminium
Dimensions variable
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
WILL BRITAIN GET THROUGH THIS RECESSION?
1992-3
From the series Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say
C-type print mounted on aluminium
Dimensions variable
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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“The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first major international survey of Turner Prize-winning British artist Gillian Wearing’s photographs and films which explore the public and private lives of ordinary people. Fascinated by how people present themselves in front of the camera in flyon-the-wall documentaries and reality TV, Gillian Wearing explores ideas of personal identity through often masking her subjects and using theatre’s staging techniques.

This major exhibition surveys Wearing’s work from the early photographs Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992-3) to her latest video Bully (2010) and also includes several new photographs made specially for the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition.

Visitors to the exhibition enter a film set-style installation showcasing photographs and films in ‘front and back stage’ areas. Highlights include a striking photograph of the artist posing as her younger self, Self-Portrait at 17 Years Old (2003), Dancing in Peckham (1994), a film which blurs the boundaries between public space and private expression as Wearing dances in the middle of a shopping mall, and the UK premiere of recent film Bully (2010). New photographic works shown for the first time include two portraits of Wearing as artists August Sander and Claude Cahun as part of her ongoing series of iconic photographers, as well as still lives of flowers, looking back to the rich symbolism of the great age of 17th century Dutch painting.

A gallery is dedicated to Wearing’s well-known photographs giving people the chance to write what they were thinking at that moment, titled Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992-3). The series includes a city worker holding a sign saying, ‘I’m Desperate’, a policeman holding ‘Help!’ and another person’s sign ‘Will Britain ever get through this recession’.

The exhibition also includes a series of private viewing booths for three confessional videos shown together for the first time and in which Gillian Wearing asked people to describe intensely personal experiences. These include Trauma (2000) where sitters describe childhood traumas while wearing a mask. As well as the powerful videos Secrets and Lies (2000) and Confess All On Video. Don’t Worry, You Will Be In Disguise. Intrigued? Call Gillian… (1994). Alongside these works the video 2 into 1 (1997) sees a mother lip synching the voices of her twin sons and vice versa as they describe their relationship.”

Press release from Whitechapel Gallery website

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Gillian Wearing
Bully
2010
Colour video for projection with sound
7 minutes 55 seconds
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
2 into 1
1997
Colour video for monitor with sound
4 minutes 30 seconds
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
Trauma
2000
Colour video for monitor with sound
30 minutes
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
Me as Cahun Holding a Mask of My Face
2012
Framed bromide print
149 x 120.5 cm
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Gillian Wearing
Me as Sander
2012
Framed bromide print
149 x 98.8 cm
© the artist
Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

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Whitechapel Gallery
77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX
T: + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm
Thursdays and Fridays 11am  9pm

Whitechapel Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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