The Easel

7th December 2021

“We Carry Our Younger Selves Around”: Gillian Wearing on Life, Art and Time

Well before social media arrived, Wearing was making performative portraits – photographs of people in masks or holding cue cards that describe their thoughts. All addressed her core fascination – who are you? Given her view that people tend to live “in their dreams”, is the image we project who we really are or the person we wish we were – or both? The possibility that her approach will appear forensic is moderated by an evident empathy. Ultimately, she says “everyone is interesting”. Images are here.

Fine Prints

Vast social changes unfolding in the early decades of the 20th century produced some distinctive art. In Britain, the Vorticists celebrated the onrushing modernism of life. Their favoured medium was the humble print, which “exists somewhere between art object and art product”. Being inexpensive, printmaking opened up new possibilities for showing art: “The art galleries of the People are not in Bond Street but are to be found in every railway station.”