GILLIAN WEARING: WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON
The films and photographs of British artist Gillian Wearing (b. Birmingham, 1963) explore our public personas and private lives. This Turner Prize winner’s remarkable works draw on fly-on-the-wall documentaries, reality TV and the techniques of theatre, to explore how we present ourselves to the world.
Wearing’s portraits and mini-dramas reveal a paradox, given the chance to dress up, put on a mask or act out a role, the liberation of anonymity allows us to be more truly ourselves.
The exhibition begins with the artist herself, dancing in a shopping mall, blissfully unaware of her bemused audience. The idea of performance continues with works including Wearing’s 1997 masterpiece, 10–16. Adults lip synch the voices and act out the physical tics of seven children in a captivating film which moves from the breathless excitement of a ten year old to the existential angst of an adolescent.