»A Class(y) Lecture by Elly Clarke« is a self-exposing hi/story about belonging and not belonging; about the drag as well as the privilege of ancestry, and the objects and expectations that define and determine the life paths of individuals born into certain families. How and where does such privilege sit today? Where does it help and where does it hinder – both the individual and society at large?
Clarke’s long-term project about her Victorian great-great-great-grandfather George Richmond’s portraits provides the central focus. Audio and images from this project are presented alongside extracts from Clarke’s own childhood & adult diaries in an attempt to better understand herself, her family and the ever-sustaining, and yet in many ways unsustainable set up of the British Class system in the 21st century. Ancestry is an identity that spans beyond the lifetime of an individual. It reaches back into the past and looks forward to a future that is not yet here, with blood as the binding thread.
We have been here for six hundred years.