Gillian Wearing: Family Stories

Mikkel Bogh, Jacob Fabricius, Marianne Torp, 2017

Publisher: Hatje Cantz.

ISBN: 978-3-7757-4370-9

Dimensions: 29.70 x 21.00 cm

Pages: 96 pages

What does “family” mean today? Which notions and prejudices come to light with it? How is modern family life shaped these days? In her project A Real Danish Family, the British artist Gillian Wearing asks these questions in ways that are both artistic and thought-provoking. The eponymous sculpture portrays a Danish family selected from 492 participating families of the most diverse composition. The exhibition Family Stories, which will open when the sculpture is unveiled in the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) in Copenhagen and was initiated and produced by Kunsthal Arhus, also revolves around the family as the crystallization point for inter-human relationships. Photographs, videos, and sculptures explore relatedness and identity, and include the artist’s own family as an example. In a series of “self-portraits” the artist uses masks to slip into the roles of her siblings, parents, and grandparents. The publication examines Wearing’s work and the theme of the family through the lens of art history, and traces the course of A Real Danish Family, a project that boldly questions patterns of thought in society.