Gillian Wearing, '60 Minutes Silence'
"Gillian Wearing has often collaborated with members of the public to make her photographs and videos – in this case she worked with twenty-six police officers. Initially the viewer appears to be presented with a life-size photograph. However, slight movements and individual shuffles make it apparent that this is a real-time moving image.
Wearing requested that the group remain still over a sixty-minute period and as the time progresses the tension builds, raising prevalent questions about control and surveillance. When the hour is up, one officer releases a cry of relief, breaking the tense silence." - TATE, TURNER PRIZE RETROSPECTIVE
THE 60 MINUTES SILENCE PIECE IS INTERESTING DUE TO IT'S INITIAL DECEIT OF BEING A PHOTOGRAPH.
THE FACT THAT THE PASSING OF TIME IS PORTRAYED BY VERY SUBTLE HUMAN MOVEMENTS (THAT ARE UNINTENTIONAL), ARGUABLY DEMONSTRATE HUMAN ERROR AND THE SLIGHT IMPERFECTIONS POSSESSED BY EVERYONE.
THE PIECE IS INTIMIDATING DUE TO THE STILLNESS OF THE MODELS; UNLIKE PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM CAPTURES A SENSE OF THE PRESENT AND THAT THE EVENT IS TAKING PLACE ADJACENTLY TO THE VIEWING OF THE PIECE. AS A RESULT OF THIS, A FEELING OF BEING WATCHED IS CREATED.
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE PIECE CHALLENGES IDEAS OF WHAT ART SHOULD BE; IS '60 MINUTES' SIMPLY OBSERVATIONAL FOOTAGE? OR HAS WEARING'S CURATION AND ORGANISATION OF ASPECTS LIKE THE AESTHETICS AND THE MINIMAL ACTIONS MADE THE PIECE INTO ART?
GILLIAN WEARING, '2 INTO 1'
"To understand the extend of parents’ control over their own children, the English artist Gillian Wearing produced, in collaboration with a mother and her two children, the video project 2 into 1 (1997) [see video above]. In it she filmed a mother and her two children, each separately, and asked them to talk about each other. Contrary to straight documentary practices, Wearing juxtaposes the images of the mother with the children and lip-synched the footage so that the mother’s words come from the sons’ mouths and vice versa." - AUTOPSIES GROUP
"Wearing addressed the power dynamics underlying human relations in 60 Minute Silence(1996). This hour-long color video depicts twenty-six male and female police officers standing or sitting, as if posed for a group photograph. They are virtually motionless. But as time passes, these law-enforcement officials experience the physical and psychological effects of Wearing’s silent filmic interrogation; fatigue and frustration grow and restlessness sets in." - COLLECTION ONLINE
"In her photographs and videos, Wearing records the confessions and interactions of ordinary people she befriends through chance encounters. Her work explores the differences between public and private life, the individual and society, voyeurism and exhibitionism, and fiction and fact. She has described her method as “editing life” and has acknowledged as influences Michael Apted’s ongoing series of documentaries Seven Up, begun in 1964, and Franc Roddam and Paul Watson’s The Family (1974), a popular British television program." - COLLECTION ONLINE
2 INTO 1 IS INTERESTING AS IT FOCUSES ON THREE INDIVIDUALS, EACH PRESENTING ANOTHER PERSONS OPINION OF SAID INDIVIDUAL; THEREFORE DISCUSSING THEIR OWN POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TRAITS THROUGH ANOTHER'S WORDS.
THE DECISION TO USE LIP SYNCING CREATES AN INTERESTING CONTRAST BETWEEN THE VOICE YOU EXPECT TO HEAR AND THE VOICE THAT IS PRESENTED - THEREFORE PLAYING WITH SOUND.
THE PIECE, AND THE COMMENTS MADE WITHIN THE PIECE, HIGHLIGHT THE SUBTLE ISSUES AND TENSIONS THAT OCCUR FROM DAY TO DAY.
I FIND MYSELF QUESTIONING WHETHER THE MOTHER AND HER CHILDREN WOULD HAVE CONFESSED ALL THE FEELINGS DISCUSSED IN THE FILM IF WEARING HAD NOT CREATED THE OUTLET FOR THEM TO DO SO. WOULD THE MOTHER HAVE BEEN SO HONEST ABOUT HER CHILDREN AND THEIR ATTITUDES? POSSIBLY NOT. WOULD THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN SO DISRESPECTFUL ABOUT THEIR MOTHER? QUITE POSSIBLY.
AN OVERRIDING THEME WITHIN THE FILM THAT I FIND INTERESTING THE CONSIDERATION OF WHAT IS SAID INTENTIONALLY AND WHAT IS SAID UNINTENTIONALLY.