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Gillian Wearing
I'm Desperate, 1997

A man stands on the street wearing a suit. He holds up a handwritten sign that says 'I'm Desperate'

Gillian Wearing’s powerful and provocative film, video and photographic works question the nature and construction of personal identity. I’m Desperate is one of a series of five photographic portraits titled Signs That Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs That Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say, in which members of the public revealed their private thoughts and feelings on hand-written signs. For Dancing in Peckham, the artist recorded herself dancing in a busy South London shopping centre to the bewilderment or indifference of passers-by. Wearing’s intimate understanding of the language of documentation explores the gap between public and private experience. The artist was a recipient of the Turner Prize in 1997.