Esther Windsor

Spotlight on Gillian Wearing

The Waiting Room
School of Art and Design
University of Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton WV1 1SB

Curated by Esther Windsor

16.3.98 - 28.4.98

Confess all on video Don't worry you will be in disguise intrigued? call Gillian


Sixty Minutes Silence

In 1997 Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing, placed an advert in the personal column of Time Out magazine with the resultant 'Confess All On Video' work, 1994. Respondents confessed their inner most secrets : an illicit affair, the horrors of being overweight, uncertain sexuality, leaving an unfaithful lover naked and penniless in a hotel room, sleeping with a prostitute, obscene phone calls and unforgettable memories of watching a brother snogging his two sisters. A world of fierce emotions untrammelled by restraint, reveals a strange sequence of characters who, wearing wigs and masks, expose the queasy reality which lies behind the surface of everyday appearances. The immediacy of video, in Gillian Wearings work, recalls the early TV of documentary, stark kitchen sink and fly on the wall. e.g. Paul Watson's The Family. Confess All On Video is a tragi comedy where real life is always funnier and stranger than fiction. Unlike 90's confessional TV there is no Oprah and you are left with your own questions of guilt and uncertainty.

Confess All On Video is a 30 minute tape and is shown along side a new work Sixty Minute Silence where the participants are dressed in police uniform and asked to stay still for over an hour. The 'members of the police force' become increasingly uncomfortable and the video camera places those who are perceived as having control over us in a controlled situation. The work is presented as a cinematic scale hour long video back projection.

Gillian Wearing was born in Birmingham in 1963. After leaving school at sixteen she studied for B.Tech in Art and Design at Chelsea College of Art in 1985, followed by a BA at Goldsmiths' from 1987 - 90.

the waiting room is pleased to present Spotlight on Gillian Wearing, a National Touring Exhibition organised by the Hayward on behalf of the Arts Council of England. Spotlight at the waiting room is sponsored by Banks's, Wolverhampton.