6 screen video installation with table archives, sound, drawings and postcards


Gerard's Palm (10 mins), Georgina's Palm (15 mins), Tea Leaves (18 mins, The Dream Analysis (12 mins), Physiognomy (5 mins), Georgina Talks About Gerard (10 mins)


In Getting to Know You (1993-4), having solicited the co-operation of a Dutch writer who was unknown to her, Georgina Starr proceeded to build up a portrait of the man from long distance, using the techniques of various pseudo-sciences. Based on material that she requested via letters and postcards, she consulted graphologists, palm readers, astrologists, physiognomists, tea-leaf readers, numerologists and dream analysts. She had him answer questionnaires and describe his features, from which she attempted sketches of his likeness. For each of the tests on him she also made one on herself, and a series of videotapes reveals her pursuing these divinations to their sometimes startling conclusions. The composite display combining psychic research on ‘Gerard Stigter’ and ‘Georgina Starr’, two persons unknown to each other except through letters of instruction and compliance, has the look of a police operations room during a murder case. The exercise in detection however has no conclusion other that the birth of characters, two quasi-fictional persons made up the unlikely mix of accurate and inaccurate information, conjecture and psychic insight. Like the entanglement of memory with the childhood fascination of Visit to a Small Planet (1995), these psychic phenomena verge towards the domains of both absurdity and insight. That identity may be dependent on such random vicissitudes is not a worry. Instead, Starr’s works reveal and revel in the capacity of the mind to be tricked and teased, to spin wonders from an obsessive cataloguing and dramatizing, willing itself and making its own meaning on the basis of chance phenomena or its own arbitrary decisions.

From an essay by Philip Monk, Hypermnesiac Fabulations exhibition catalogue (1997)

Exhibition history :

Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London, 1995

Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, 1996

Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland, 2001

See also 'The Voices of Georgina', podcast 2011