Enter the political primal scream room: 4 art videos explore the limits of public speech

23 November 2020

Four new video artworks have just gone live on an online platform dedicated to exploring humanity’s second most widespread fear: public speaking.

Co-founded by Bucharest-based curators Dan Angelescu, Irina Radu and Cristina Vasilescu, the Quote Unquote Platform explores public speech and discourse — an ever-present feature of modern lives that is still yet to be explored in-depth in the arts.

Among the video artwork highlights is Romanian artist Ira Merzlichin, who engages in dialogues with people living in border areas in a mix of Romanian, Ukrainian, and Russian, showcasing the complexities of ethnic identity. Meanwhile, American artist Liz Magic Laser creates an uncanny, stylised, futuristic video of people in a “political primal scream room”, complaining about the politicians and politics upsetting them.

In addition to commissioning and showcasing videos, the team running the web platform also host podcasts and curate exhibitions in Bucharest. In the future, they also plan to organise artist residencies, and publish articles.

“The idea for the platform developed following my dissertation at Goldsmiths University in London: as part of my MA in Visual Anthropology, I made a short documentary film on people using public speech in their work (hypnosis therapists, religious pastors etc),” Irina Radu told The Calvert Journal. “I realised the subject is so vast, that, together with Dan and Cristina, we decided to create a platform to explore its mechanisms, effects, and forms in contemporary society,” she added.

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