Parts of Speech: Hari Kunzru

Tue, Mar 12th, 2019

***Presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art ChicagoTuesday, March 12 at 7:30pm***

Admission is FREE | CLICK HERE to RSVP

With faith in public and private institutions at an all-time low, what kinds of speeches—and speakers—are likely to win trust, acquire authority, and mobilize audiences? As part of the exhibition Parts of Speech at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, which explores the tactics of public speech, journalist Hari Kunzru uses the historic Music Box Theatre to consider truth and distortion in public address. 

At the time of the Music Box’s founding, in the 1930s, Bertolt Brecht published “Five Difficulties in Writing the Truth,” an essay contending with the rise of fascism in Europe and positing how readers could be turned into revolutionaries. Brecht asserted that writers must be able to recognize, proclaim, and weaponized the truth, disseminating to those “in whose hands it will become effective.” Kunzru’s lecture will respond to Brecht’s essay by considering today’s greatest difficulties in writing the truth, including the proliferation of distortions, misinformation, and harassment campaigns.

Parts of Speech will be on view at the MCA Chicago from January 22 through June 9, 2019 and is a collaboration between the MCA, the Los Angeles-based curatorial endeavor Public Fiction, and the New York-based magazine Triple Canopy. As part of the exhibition, a series of experimental lectures addressing the use of public speech to mold opinion, forge intimacy, marshal authority, and orchestrate movements are staged at sites of assembly throughout Chicago. More Info at