There's Meaning in the Method

"If you were to play a part in a film, would you be yourself or a fictional character?" That's the question at the heart of Turner Prize-winning artist Gillian Wearing's debut film, Self Made (2011, color/B&W, 84 min.). It's also the question on the advertisement that enticed hundreds of hopefuls from London and Newcastle to respond. The final magnificent seven then were injected into a Method acting workshop to explore the mysteries of their "fantasy selves," with an eye toward starring in their own film. After an extended period of cramming their square psyches into the ovular hole of the Method, they produced lots of bowel-loosening weeping, sub-Lacan primal screaming, and a transformative process by which one's self is made. You just won't know if it's the "real" self for certain. It's a placebo wrapped up in a riddle ensnared in a question: Who really makes whom, and why would anyone, in this era of reality-series narcissism, think that these people would choose anything other than door No. 1? Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Wstwd.; Wed., Sept. 28, 7 p.m., free. (310) 443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu.
Wed., Sept. 28, 7 p.m., 2011

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