Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say – Gillian Wearing – 1992/1993 – Site – Place – Context – 2012

Gillian Wearing OBE is a well known conceptual British artist, a lot of her work uses the British public exploring issues in society and how people represent themselves. In her piece Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say she asked members of the public to write their thoughts on a piece of paper, some are comical but others can be very moving, particularly the I’m desperate man.

I really like the way Wearing looks at the idea of something may not be what it seems. In cities like London people can get quite lonely and can rarely be asked what they really think so it is an interesting concept to pursue. This is an example of environmental art, as she is looking at people in their environment and thinking about how they relate to their living or working space.

This piece gave Wearing a lot of recognition as it was one of the first of its kind and since she has followed a similar idea of looking at peoples lives and asking them about their opinions and outlooks. For my current project I am going into a specific  place and looking at the opinions of people who are often overlooked by society, particularly in a modern urban city.

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