Critics’ Picks

Georgia Horgan, All Whores are Jacobites, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 21 minutes 30 seconds.

London

Georgia Horgan

public exhibitions
Hassard Street
February 23 - March 31

All Whores are Jacobites, 2017, an installation by Glasgow-based artist Georgia Horgan, makes up her first solo show in London. The artist’s research-based work engages with issues of history, capitalism, and gendered labor. Horgan’s interest in the sharing of information—through broadcast, distribution, or teaching—is derived from a wider concern with how history can be invented and how society might reproduce and consider itself in the contemporary moment. Using a Marxist approach, the artist highlights the sociopolitical conditions that keep capitalism thriving, making the past tangible in the present moment.

This engagement with Marxist pedagogy was iterated on opening night when Horgan presented the video work that makes up the body of the show—also titled All Whores are Jacobites—in the form of a one-off performative lecture. The video is shown on a portable projection screen, alongside speakers, a lectern, and microphone. Notions of bodily and intellectual resistance are explored in Horgan’s interweaving of three famous characters from East London, where the gallery is located: medieval embroiderer, sex worker, and trans woman Eleanor Rykener; notorious brothel owner and English Civil War republican Elizabeth Creswell; and Sarah Wesker, a Jewish radical and garment trade unionist of the early twentieth century. The focus on the global textile industry is also mirrored in the two untitled chairs Horgan placed in the gallery, which she cocreated with her own mother and London Embroidery Studio’s Lucie McKenna. They feature a variety of images, such as an illustration of Rykener and drawings from Marcellus Laroon’s 1688 series “The Cryes of London.” In order to assuage the didactic patriarchal terms of history and museology and to speak to a radical feminist past, Horgan’s narrative is deliberately nonlinear, speculative, and experimental.