new-york

James Grigsby

N.A.M.E. Gallery

James Grigsby is a Chicago performer whose works are distinguished by precision and polish. Usually highly crafted combinations of narration, movement, and sound compositions, they often achieve a near-perfect balance of ingredients. “Rust Never Sleeps” is not as ambitious a piece as previous ones, yet Grigsby manages to make it memorable despite the lack of music or movement. There were no sets, no costumes, only the artist and a chair; dramatic lighting was provided by Alicia Healy, who followed Grigsby around with a handheld, heavy-duty light, capturing fragments of his face or creating reeling, expressionistic shadows along the walls while he remained stationary. Although never verbalized, the central action of the performance revolved around a cliché: an idle mind is the devil’s playground.

The piece opens with Grigsby sitting and knitting. He announces that he’s begun to knit, repeating

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