JULY 10 / 17 / 24 / 31, 2020

Anna Barham - To Be We To Be

For Quote—Unquote, artist Anna Barham has devised a series of reading encounters using Gertrude Stein’s 1927 prose poem Patriarchal Poetry. Focusing on the physicality of reading — rhythm, sound, cadence — and using the possibilities and limitations of video-conferencing software, each session will employ different strategies through which to read together. These acts consider reading as re-authoring the text, freeing it from the written word and infusing it with new meanings. If literary language stretches beyond quotidian language, how does it modify speech? How does it orbit the definitions of sense and non-sense? 

Quote—Unquote invites you to participate in these encounters — registration is free and open for all and will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis. Sessions will be conducted through Zoom with a maximum of 4 participants each on July 10, 17, 24 and 31. If you would like to participate please write to us at and we will tell you more about the next steps. Please specify the date you wish to book. First session starts at 6pm Romanian local time — timeframes for further sessions will be announced soon. Sessions take place in English.

TO BE WE TO BE continues the artist’s enquiry into various forms of collective reading that could be described as slow, close, repetitive, embodied, and which occur between human and machine as well as between humans. TO BE WE TO BE uses Patriarchal Poetry as a virtual space within which something is produced.

Anna Barham has created a manual for TO BE WE TO BE, comprised of a set of instructions for the reading encounters + the text Patriarchal Poetry.


ANNA BARHAM‘s work explores translation, authorship and subjectivity as distributed and forms of agency. She uses language as a raw and collaborative material – moving it between different bodies, forms and technologies to create complex feedback loops. Through video, text, print, installation and live events, she develops the resulting material as a kind of interface, to set up elliptical relationships between human and non-human others, words, sounds and images, that consider the audience as further agents in the production and transformation of ‘sense’.

Recent projects Liquid Crystal Display, Site Gallery, Sheffield and MIMA, Middlesborough; Yet as Yet, Fig Futures, De Montfort University, Leicester; A sentence can be ours and ours, Playground Festival, Museum M, Leuven, BE; This is a voice, Wellcome Collection, London and MAAS, Sydney; Secret Surface, K-W, Berlin; and Nouveau Festival: Air de jeu, Centre Pompidou, Paris. She is currently co-organising a year long reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans with Irene Revell and recently published a new bookwork Poisonous Oysters.