Joseph Grigely

FRAC-Artothèque Nouvelle-Aquitaine Limousin

Joseph Grigely’s recent exhibition in Limoges, entitled “Conversations & Portraits,” presented a number of the works he calls “conversations.” Each of these pieces consists of a typed, framed text that sketches a particular situation; this text is hung on a wall along with an array of colored pieces of paper covered with handwritten messages. When he meets people, Grigely, who has been mute since an accident that took place when he was eleven, asks them to write down what they would like to say to him by using pieces of colored paper that he carries in his pocket. The messages in his work are thus the products of real-life conversations. As sign language remains the language of a minority, a language with which most hearing people are not familiar, these works reflect the inevitable exchange of small notes that results whenever Grigely needs to communicate with someone. Far from seeming

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