Monday, February 26, 2018

Jessica Kolkmeier reviews Gillian Wearing

Wearing's work, I think, would draw anyone's attention due to the sheer extreme nature of her process. Each photo in her Album series portrays Gillian herself, under a waxy, almost disturbing realistic mask of each of her closest members. With the help of these masks, appropriate backdrop, specific clothing and styling, she is able to transform herself into the likeness of each person. This technique literally brings "take a walk (or photo) in someone else's shoes" to life. Personally, it's interesting to me because seeing old photos of my parents always makes me wonder what I would've been like in that era, as well as draw fantasies of what they were like. Often I've tried to imagine their past lives as mine, and this project really brings that idea forward. In a statement, she mentions that she purposely chose younger versions of her parents so that they seem unaffected by life's pressures that come later on. Seeing as Wearing herself was young at the time of each photo, further meshes her life with that of each person she is portraying.

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