Marvelous Movie Mondays: Dear Barb

EPFC | September 17th, 2019

guest curator: Florrie James
Dear Barb – Georgia Horgan

For the theme Day Job, Night Shift, Soul Work, we look this week at the politics of sex work in London in 1668. Georgia Horgan, another representative of Lies and Lairs artist run Production Company. Dear Barb was a single-channel video made for an exhibition at Jerwood Space. The work focuses on The Poor Whore’s Petition, a satirical open letter or ‘political pornography’, which began to circulate following the Bawdy House Riots of 1668. The letter was allegedly written by Elizabeth Creswell, one of the most successful brothel keepers of the English seventeenth century, and was addressed to Lady Castlemaine, the lover of King Charles II of England. The text demands that Castlemaine assist her ‘sisters’ in re-building London’s brothels after the damage done during the riots. Navigating the path of the riots through contemporary London, Dear Barb references linguistic conventions around gossip, smear and obscenity that particularly linked feminine sexuality with fishing and The Thames. These themes, and the historical context of the letter, are explored through two parallel voice-overs: an ‘objective’ documentary narrative detailing the historical context and a ‘confessional’ first-person account.

Georgia is an artist based in Mexico City that makes videos, performances, textiles and texts. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art and California Institute of the Arts, and has shown work at the ICA, Jerwood Space, Glasgow Women’s Library, Alyssa Davis Gallery, Evelyn Yard, Collective and Glasgow International. Her writing has been published by Flash Art, Panel, MAP Magazine and Orlando journal. Current and upcoming exhibitions include group shows at Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury; Bonington Gallery, Nottingham; and OnCurating, Zurich.