Copyright Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London

In Storage

Gillian Wearing (b.1963)

Dancing in Peckham

Wearing was born in Birmingham and studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths College. She was awarded the Turner Prize in 1997. In her photography and video work she seeks to document the public personas and private thoughts of ordinary people. A number of her projects including Signs (1992-93) and Confess All on Video (1994) encouraged people to reveal their secret thoughts, challenging pre-conceptions based on their outward appearance.

Dancing in Peckham shows Wearing dancing for 25 minutes without music in a London shopping centre. She had seen a woman dancing by herself, completely unselfconsciously, at the Royal Festival Hall and, unable to capture the moment, decided to recreate it. The film explores the idea of acting as if in private while in a public space. The reactions or indifference of the other people is a commentary on what might be considered normal or eccentric behaviour.

Mediumcolour video for monitor with sound 25 minutes
Acquisition NumberSOTAG : 1996/10
Credit LinePurchased in 1996 through the Frederick William Smith Bequest Fund