“In 1974 at the age of six I began to hear the voices. I would appear glassy-eyed in the middle of the night in my parents’ living room in a somnambulistic state. ‘It’s the voices. Stop the voices’. It was difficult to describe exactly what I heard. This wasn’t just one voice, but a caco phon y of female voices trying to communicate at the same time”

Perhaps the voices of the group of women that are animating the Light Room that appears in one of the scenes of the film Quarantaine (2020) by Georgina Starr are the same voices that talked to the artist in her childhood. And from the dream it seems that this work draws its origins: two girls are trapped, almost fallen into the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland, in a surreal dimension where they experience a new society of women. The organization of this new community is in the hands of a sort of sovereign, with traits very similar to Margaret Thatcher, who has the decision-making power to return a greater degree of awareness and knowledge only to the citizens that are able to pass the tests. The protagonists of this journey often find themselves, just as in the scene of Light Room, to be observers, without being able to partecipate, of a social organization that dismantles a linearity of thought that characterizes mass culture, showing its total schizophrenia and absurdity.

The travel of the two protagonists, two women almost stereotyped in the haircut and dress, takes place through a series of scenes always characterized by saturated colors and hallucinatory atmospheres. The practice of Georgina Starr is characterized by the great attention in the construction of installations that forms the set of video footage but that are often used as places where the artist puts his performances into action. Quarantine brings together these different aspects of Starr’s research, which for this work uses a variety of objects, elements that can be traced back to the British fifties, a staging that clearly characterizes the work and offers a historical framework, while taking documentation holds away to open up to the dimension of mystery and enigma.

The narrative that is built around this setting winds between a contemporary mythology and a theatrical representation of feminist ideals: the hypnagogic hallucination created by the artist looks like a temporal fracture that is expressed by symbols and allusions that the observer can accept to grasp, throwing himself in turn into the hole of the rabbit dug … Quarantaine.


Georgina Starr
Quarantaine, 2020
43 minutes, courtesy the artist, Film Video Umbrella, The Hunterian, Glasgow International, Leeds Art Gallery & Art Fund