Gillian Wearing CBE, ‘‘I’m desperate’’ 1992–3
Gillian Wearing CBE
‘I’m desperate’ 1992–3
Tate
© Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley/ Interim Art, London

Wearing has cited the influence of English fly-on-the-wall documentaries, such as Michael Apted’s 7-up and the 1970s documentary The Family. Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–3), made shortly after her graduation from Goldsmiths College in 1990, was produced by approaching people on London streets, asking them to write something on a card and then photographing them as they displayed it.