Gillian Wearing

In the video 10-16 Gillian Wearing recorded interviews with seven children between the ages of 10 and 16, then taped middle-aged actors lip synching the children’s voices. The children’s faces were not seen and the voice of a 10-year old boy describing his treehouse came from the mouth of a man reclining on a couch, while a 13-year old boy plotting the demise of his lesbian mother and her lover is portrayed by a naked dwarf in a bathtub. The final interview comes from a businessman who painfully relates a 16-year old’s sexual confusion and self-loathing.

As the subjects are real and the contrasting voices are perfectly lip-synched the effect is uncanny. We may feel unnerved but the work is very effective as we are confronted to examine the identity and characteristics of both the voice and physical form more closely as we attempt to re-establish a sense of order within the disorientating contrasts. 

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