After a career of many years, Gillian Wearing, is in no uncertain terms still making art that divides her audience. Her exhibition continues to underline her impressive legacy and is an insight into why Wearing’s work has caused somewhat of a rift in the art world.
The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first major international exhibition of the British conceptual artist, showcasing her work in film, photography and sculpture over the last two decades. This includes her most famous work 'Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say.' (1992)
The exhibition also shows a series of portraits and short films that explore the idea of our public persona versus our private reality. Wearing uses criminals, addicts and victims disguised by prosthetic masks in a succession of interviews that investigate the realm of human confessions. By exposing these private traumas and dark secrets Wearing underlines and confirms the rather unsettling notion that no one is as they seem.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the exhibition is where Wearing turns the camera on herself in a series of self-portraits, exploring her own identity as the artist as opposed to that of the public.‘I’m always trying to find ways to discover things about people, and in the process to discover more things about myself’, Gillian Wearing.