Gillian Wearing


The British artist Gillian Wearing combines documentary approach and representation to give us a perception of human nature. Since 1977, she has been working on a more personal series, Album, a sequence of self-portraits retracing her family history. With costumes, wigs and prosthetic silicon masks specifically made for this project, she carefully reconstitutes photographic portraits of members of her family or of herself at different ages. Born in 1963, Wearing chooses a photobooth self-portrait made when she was 17 as a representation of herself as a teenager. Her impassive face, in some way vulnerable, reminds of the introspective nature of the booth as one faces the reflection of one’s own image. The photobooth is also one of life’s milestones: reaching the age of majority requires an official identification and implies regular visits to the booth. (Credit: Gillian Wearing, Self Portrait at 17 Years Old [ Autoportait à 17 ans ], épreuve chromogène, 115,5 x 92 cm, 2003. Collection of Contemporary Art Fundació “ La Caixa ”, Barcelone © Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London)