Shirley Read, Self-portrait series in the Dairy, 1974–75, black-and-white photograph. Courtesy Shirley Read.
‘Unbidden Tongues #7: Continuity Girl’ unpacks the ‘forensic feminist methodology’ developed by writer, curator and administrator Naomi Pearce. Informed by research conducted in various personal archives of women administrators of artist studio spaces in London from the 1970s until now, the components of Pearce’s writing span mortuary field notes, interview transcripts, intimate first-person accounts and an auto-fictive mystery novella. These various evidentiary approaches blend to form an unconventional casebook that puts forward the complicating factors underpinning the process of writing history in the first place. In this particular title, the biographical lens focuses on Shirley Read—a photographer, writer, teacher, administrator and oral historian, whose work has been largely overlooked, until now.
Unbidden Tongues is a project by curator Isabelle Sully, and published in collaboration with Kunstverein Münich. The series publishes previously produced yet relatively uncirculated work by cultural practitioners busy with questions surrounding civility and civic life—particularly in relation to language and its administration. Editorially speaking, it additionally operates as a bibliographic output for curatorial research and an artistic practice based in writing.