Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say 1992 – 1993

Gillian Wearing


Edition : First / London / Maureen Paley / September 1997 / Softcover. / VG
8vo, 96pp. Printed Wraps as issued. Numerous Colour plates. Text in English. One of 1500 copies.


Gillian Wearing first attracted public acclaim when she exhibited this series of photographs at City Racing, a small artist-run gallery in London in 1993. She had been using video and photography since the early 1990s, but this was her first significant collaboration with members of the public. Standing in a busy area of South London (Walworth road I think), Wearing stopped passers-by and asked them to write down what was on their mind. With their permission, she then photographed them holding their statement. As indicated by the title of the work, Wearing has written that this collaboration ‘interrupts the logic of photo-documentary and snapshot photography by the subjects’ clear collusion and engineering of their own representation.’ These photographs were shown again in 1997 when she won the Turner Prize. A brilliant and important work.

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