new-york

Gillian Wearing, Secrets and Lies, 2009, still from a color video, 53 minutes 16 seconds.

Gillian Wearing

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Gillian Wearing, Secrets and Lies, 2009, still from a color video, 53 minutes 16 seconds.

Long before Facebook, Gillian Wearing was pulling apart the conflicted, mediated relationship between our real selves and those we present to the world. Whether photographing strangers on the street holding signs that state what they’re thinking (“Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say,” 1992–93), or documenting herself dancing wildly in a public place (Dancing in Peckham, 1994), or filming adults as they lip-synch to recordings of children speaking (10–16, 1997), she mixes and matches the elements of identity—those elements that we assume compose our selves, our most private selves—and makes them public in ways that confound personhood rather than cement it.

A recent show of work from 2005 to the present continued this investigation, largely via portraiture, a genre that often conceals as much as it reveals.

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