© Gillian Wearing, Self Portrait at Three Years Old, 2004. Gillian Wearing. Courtesy: Maureen Paley, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

What's on | Exhibition | 10.oct.2017

Gillian Wearing – Family Stories

The respected British artist Gillian Wearing is engrossed by people and their relations. In a new exhibition she shows both touching and unpleasant stories of families and solidarities.

Gillian Wearing - Famlily Stories: 13.October - 7. January 2018

In her works Gillian Wearing (b. 1963) gives perfectly ordinary people a voice – documenting private narratives, examining family constructs and exploring the boundaries between the private and the public.

She often incorporates herself or members of her family directly in her art, raising questions about how relationships with other people help shape our identity.

"I just look for situations where there is an element of truth. People can't relate to a made-up fantasy of what a family is; they might aspire to it for themselves. But if they are to view someone else's situation then they want something that is honest," says Gillian Wearing.

Gillian Wearing's sculpture: A Real Danish Family

The works in the exhibition all centre on families and family life. This also holds true for a new piece that specifically aims to prompt public discussion: A Real Danish Family, an art project involving 500 Danish families, a jury and large-scale public bronze sculpture representing a real Danish family.

Gillian Wearing set out to find “a real Danish family”, which will ultimately be depicted as a life-sized bronze sculpture erected in a central Copenhagen location.

TV-programme about the road to a winning sculpture

The project was first launched in the autumn of 2016 with a campaign inviting all families in Denmark to take part in the competition to be immortalised in bronze. Around 500 families signed up, and the Danish broadcasting corporation, DR, followed the entire process:

From interviews with participating families across the country to the jury’s deliberations and the final choice of the winning family. DR’s three TV programmes about the project air on 2, 9 and 16 October 2017 on DR2.

The nationwide sculpture project was carried out as a collaboration between Gillian Wearing, Kunsthal Aarhus, DR and SMK, celebrating the many different types of family found in Denmark.

The winning family and the sculpture will be revealed on 13 October 2017 at SMK, coinciding with the opening of the exhibition Gillian Wearing Family Stories.

A Real Danish Family is supported by the Bikuben Foundationthe City of Copenhagen and the Danish Arts Foundation

Updated: 17.oct.2017
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