TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 1994

VITAL SIGNS: GILLIAN WEARING'S TALKING PICTURES

YOU’RE WALKING DOWN A BUSY Central London street, hurrying through stress, noise, fumes, crowds. When a young woman comes up to you out of the chaos, you flinch; your first instinct is to brush past. But as soon as she begins speaking you realize she’s not hassling you for money or information—what she wants is more complex.

Handing you a marker and a sheet of card, she asks you to write down what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling. Then she’ll photograph you with the card. How do you respond? Do you write the first thing that comes into your head, however banal, or what you think you ought to, mindful of the fact that this is a public space, that this could he a public act? Do you write something that’s really on your mind, taking the opportunity for some real communication? Or do you seize the opportunity to take the stage and act out? The banality that immediately pops into your head,

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