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Gillian Wearing asks for a peek through people’s windows

The UK artist will unveil her new film project, including submissions from the public, at the House festival in Brighton

by Gareth Harris, Anny Shaw  |  18 February 2016
Gillian Wearing asks for a peek through people’s windows
A sample of Your Views
A new film by Gillian Wearing capturing views from windows across the world is the centerpiece of the House contemporary art festival in Brighton this spring.

The Turner Prize winner is inviting contributors to upload short clips of either curtains or blinds opening to reveal the view from a window through the website yourviewsfilm.com. The complete work, entitled Your Views, will go on show in Brighton University Galleries as part of a solo exhibition dedicated to the artist called A Room With Your Views.

Wearing tells us why the project has been illuminating: “My view wouldn’t be a likely representation of the essence of London, but that’s what I really like about this project. My view is still London. When people send me their views, I read the location on the email first and when I see the film, it rarely corresponds to what I imagine or know of that place.”

She also throws light also on the kinds of scenes people are filming. “I was sent one the other day of two beautiful husky dogs sitting outside their home in the snow of Kuusamo, Finland,” Wearing says. “[There is] a fantastic view from Guinea, of people wandering past a window—one of them looked as if they were deep in thought. Some views are from high up in an apartment block giving you an overview of the city, others are at street level and you have a more intimate view of the occupants in that location.”

A sample of Your Views
The decisions made by the different film-makers—from the time of day to the choice of background music—mean that the submissions are highly subjective rather than impersonal. “This is where my project transforms from the objective fact-based view of the window to the subjective sensitivity of the film-maker,” Wearing says.

The location is outlined on the curtains or blinds just before they open to the world; the name of every contributor, who will be sent a short trailer in return, will be printed on one of the gallery walls.

Wearing’s work is part of House (30 April-5 June), which runs concurrently with the Brighton Festival, now in its 50th year (7-29 May). The latter event is organised this year by the veteran musician Laurie Anderson around the theme of “home and place”. A Room with Your Views has been co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and House. 

Other artists featured in the Brighton festival include Ron Haselden who will show a series of LED light drawings across the coastal city. And the London-based artist Felicity Hammond will present a piece called Show Room, commissioned by Photoworks for the House festival. Her sculptural objects are made from images used to advertise luxury residential developments.

Funders of the Brighton Festival include Arts Council England and Brighton & Hove city council.

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