A popular saying claims that the most common fear among people is public speaking. It’s followed, on the second place, by death.

Quote—Unquote is an interdisciplinary platform that investigates the mechanisms, uses and effects of (public) speech in contemporary society through artistic practice and its intersection with other fields of activity. By observing the educational and performative turns of the last few decades and the growing importance of the discursive act in the field of visual arts, this initiative proposes a dialogic turn and rhizomic formats. Quote—Unquote follows and provokes the juxtaposition of various practices in order to create new productions and an understanding of the event in itself as a process of transformation and co-creation.

From unmitigated acts of protest to grand political statements, from intimate sound art pieces to communal preaching sermons, from therapeutic practices all the way to new (remediated and hypermediated) formats like podcasts, TED talks, vlogs or the fake news of today, the platform researches, through a fluid approach, the capacity of public speech to calm, educate, manipulate or deceive. Within the Quote—Unquote framework, language is queried as a primordial means of communication and its specificities are navigated through a series of collaborative intersections which investigate the relationship of public speech with authority, exploring new possibilities of decodification and intervention.

Quote—Unquote is articulated and co-curated by Irina Radu and Cristina Vasilescu, and co-founded with Dan Angelescu. The curatorial unit explores layers of discursivity and the public sphere, striving to gather insights from the vitality of interdisciplinary practice in order to create public engagement, from the starting point that art ignites dialogue and dialogue creates understanding. 

Irina Radu is a visual anthropologist and explorer. Her interest in the ramifications of public speaking sparked while pursuing her MA in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, with her dissertation serving as a starting point for a long-term collaborative research.

Cristina Vasilescu is an independent curator working across multiple disciplines, currently artistic director at Suprainfinit Gallery and founder of 19DOORS project space inhabiting a domestic environment in Bucharest. She co-directed clearview, a contemporary art project based in London, worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London and studied Curating Contemporary Arts at the Royal College of Art.