‘Now you see me… Gillian Wearing’s Self Made’

Gillian Wearing
Eds. Daniel F. Herrmann, Doris Krystof and Bernhart Schwenk
Ridinghouse, Whitechapel, Pinakothek der Moderne and K20, 2012

Focusing upon Gillian Wearing’s first feature film, Self Made (2010), this essay explores how the artist / director captures up the paradoxes of actor and character.

Alternating between documentary and fiction, six members of the public ensnared by a newspaper ad work with method acting guru Sam Rumbelow to create and star in their own short films.

This essay claims that despite both the documentary sequences and the short films obeying the laws of classical cinema, the film as a bloc of sensation is thoroughly modernist. This is the paradox.

To explore this paradox and reveal why it is crucial to Wearing’s project, we turn to the film taxonomy of Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema books looking at movement-images and time-images, at how these two domains of cinema interpenetrate, and by encountering Self Made as a crystal-image.

Available at Ridinghouse