ARTIST: Gillian Wearing OBE born 1963
MEDIUM: Photograph, colour, Chromogenic print, on paper
DIMENSIONS: Frame: 1325 x 925 x 45 mm
image: 1190 x 790 mm
ACQUISITION: Purchased 2000

This artwork was specifically chosen and was directly decided to be put at the very top of the collection because of the strong message it carries. Some questions I would like the observer to consider whilst enjoying the exhibition, are the following: ‘Who are to diagnose you?’, ‘What makes a, so-called, “expert” qualified to decide a stranger’s destiny?’, ‘What complications might an official mental-illness diagnosis cause?’

“Gillian Wearing first attracted public acclaim when she exhibited this series of photographs at City Racing, a small artist-run gallery in London in 1993. She had been using video and photography since the early 1990s, but this was her first significant collaboration with members of the public. Standing in a busy area of South London, Wearing stopped passers-by and asked them to write down what was on their mind. With their permission, she then photographed them holding their statement. As indicated by the title of the work, Wearing has written that this collaboration ‘interrupts the logic of photo-documentary and snapshot photography by the subjects’ clear collusion and engineering of their own representation.’ (Wearing 1997, p.3)” (