Regen Projects has unveiled ‘Everyone’, an exhibition of multimedia work by British artist Gillian Wearing. The exhibition debuts two new videos – We Are Here and Fear and Loathing – the latter of which is the artist’s first work produced in the United States. In addition to videos, the show will also feature photographs and sculptures. This will be Wearing’s fourth solo presentation at the gallery.
We Are Here, inspired by the American poet Edgar Lee Masters’ 1915 book Spoon River Anthology, transports the viewer to the area in and around Sandwell, England where Wearing grew up. In Master’s book, the people who lived by Spoon River, a fictional town named after the river that ran close to the poet’s hometown, rise up from the grave to talk about their lives, regrets, losses and memories associated with their home region. In Wearing’s video, residents of the West Midlands present a series of monologues recounting stories as if they have returned from the dead.
Wearing’s second video Fear and Loathing continues the artist’s exploration of personal confessions, traumas, and secrets. Comprised of two screens, the video portrays participants – their identities kept anonymous through the use of masks – who responded to an advert seeking people interested in divulging their individual fears and loathings in front of the camera. Filmed in Los Angeles, the video blurs the line between public and private.
A color lightbox photograph, Everyone, depicts a nature study loosely based on Jan Brueghel the Elder’s bouquets. Similarly, the video Crowd carefully reconstructs a botanical still life of wild plants and flowers, based on Abrecht Dürer’s famous watercolor, The Great Piece of Turf. Together the two works serve as a metaphor for everyone, their intricate compositions pointing to the artifice of our own constructed identities.
Throughout the gallery the artist herself is rendered visible. Me As Necklace depicts a large sculptural chain strung through a pendant portraying Wearing’s face. Me as an Artist in 1984 features the nascent artist masked and costumed alongside works she made as a 20 year old. Equally uncanny, a series of tables display resin casts of Wearing’s hands and feature upturned palms printed with the results of readings provided by fortune tellers. The fortune tellers were not given the identity of the artist so the readings are based purely on her lines and vary in what is predicted for her both in terms of fortune and misfortune.
Gillian Wearing (1963, Birmingham, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. She studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College in London. Her work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, including Whitechapel Gallery, London [toured to K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf and Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich] (2012); A Real Birmingham Family, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2011); Confessions: Portraits, Vidéid, Musue Rodin, Paris (2009); Living Proof, ACCA Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2006); Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2006); Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (2004); ICA, Philadelphia (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2002), and Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); among others. Wearing was awarded the Turner Prize in 1997, elected a lifetime member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2007, and appointed an OBE in 2011.
Gillian Wearing ‘Everyone’ Regen Projects (Hollywood) December 13, 2014 – January 24, 2015