Public speaking is regarded as an elusive domain, an abstract component of more tangible worlds, a vehicle leading both the speaker and the listener to the landscape of fact or fiction. The voice, the speech and the sound license experience, reflecting and influencing personal and social structure.

Six artists and their collaborators look into the mechanisms of speech, diving inwards through moving image practice. Ancient rhetorical training and the ecology of the non-human, insistent spirits of radio frequencies speaking about the past through lost dialects or speculative scenarios starting from contemporary social and psychological conditions. The four commissioned Video Station works approach public speaking phenomena and discursivity through a wide array of subjects, whispers, voices and gestures, as short fiction films, video art and hybrid docu-essays.

The artists and their proposals were selected from an international open call supporting the production of collaborative and transdisciplinary moving image works.


“The manner of how one speaks is a product of their environmental surroundings, the form of training they receive, and the possibility provided for by their bodily capacity.  Ancient forms of rhetorical training idealised the body and its movements in space. Codified what constituted the perfect gesture as executed by a view of a normalised body. Against this, a tradition celebrating biological difference, of the possibilities that arise from corporeal variance. The work breaks its breath and speaks across time to vocalise and animate the aspects of speech that vibrate beyond the verbal, that are inherited and transmitted in the disarticulations of the joint.” (text by Moad Musbahi & Sheryn Akiki)


Moad Musbahi & Sheryn Akiki
with thanks to Peter Goodrich
and the writing of Nathanial Mackey

Declamation Instructor – Abdul Musbahi
Narrator – Esra Salem

‘The Hero Without Hands’
from The Lesser Declamations II
by Marcus Fabius Quintilian
read by Moad Musbahi

‘Ol’ Bunk’s Band’
a poem by William Carlos Williams
read by Sheryn Akiki

First part in an upcoming larger project

Commissioned in the frame of Quote—Unquote: Video Station


MOAD MUSBAHI — I am an artist and curator based between Tripoli and London. My work investigates migration as a method for cultural production and political expression, focusing on the social practices and forms of knowledge that it engenders. I presented Ikhtiyār and the production of (in)visibility, a lecture performance with Enass Khansa at the Publishing Maneuvers Symposium Public Sessions, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi (2020) based on an earlier iteration at Beirut Art Center (2019). I presented Sufi Tombs and Sea Burials, Performing Preservation, a lecture performance at Jameel Art Center, Dubai (2020). My work has been featured in exhibitions such as How to Disappear, Beirut Art Center (2019), and Architecture of the Territory, Beit Beirut (2019). Recent publications include The Double False Position (Failed States Journal, 2020), Fleshy Translations (Indigo+Madder, 2020) Paper Nor Me_xx2: Beyond the Paper Principle (Kayfa ta, 2020); ‘Asl (Origin)’ in AA Files 76 (2019); and ‘The Sahara Is not a Desert: Re-Mapping Libya, Unravelling the State’ in The Funambulist 18 Cartography & Power (2018). I previously worked as a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, London (2018–2020). I am a recipient of the Sharjah Art Foundation’s Production Programme Grant (2020) and a forthcoming RAW Academy fellow at the ICA, Philadelphia. I hold an MArch from the Architectural Association and an MA from the Royal College of Art.

SHERYN AKIKI I am an artist and designer living and working between Beirut and London. I am currently exploring ideas of psycho(de)militarised bodies in allegiance/affiliation, postcolonial living remnants, the felt impacts and attributions of socio-political landscapes in Lebanon. I presented the collections a blue index 1.1 (2017), which explored the mise-en-scene in homegrown propaganda, militarised clothing and obtrusive symbols of power through live and staged clips of possible narratives, and Au Bar Coquette (2019) which extended social commentary on what it means and feels to be a ‘lady’ in times of crisis, echoing the trembling fragility, urgency and disparities of Beirut in the 30s, a romanticised past still threatening its present. I recently completed a 4-month residency as an ongoing member of the Shock Forest Group (formed in 2019), a 13-person research collective, in the ruins of the Eurometaal 0.50 Bullet factory in Zaandam, the Netherlands that was recently occupied by the cultural institution Het HEM. The collective investigated from and around the (ex)-militarised terrain which culminated in the exhibition No Camouflage, (2019) as a ground for revisiting and exhuming its living spectres and violent histories hidden within its (violent) neoliberal present. I am a recipient of the CSM Creative Award (2019) and Young Talent Award (2017), and have been part of Creative Unions at London Design Festival (2017), VOID at Red Hooks Lab, NYC(2018), CIFF Paris at Garage Amelot (2019). I hold a BA and MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins in London.