22 June –18 August 2002

Joseph Grigely, White Noise 1991

Informed by the experience of being profoundly deaf, the art of Joseph Grigely is fundamentally about conversations—the paths they take, the forms they have and the stories they tell in the process of being retold.

Grigely uses as his raw materials the written conversations that take place in his daily life; the scraps of paper on which hearing people have written notes, names or phrases in order to ‘converse’ with him when he cannot read their lips. Utilising these residues of conversation he builds text-based wall pieces, installations and table-top tableaux that take as their subject matter the unique characteristics and complexities of communication—whether spoken, written, read or heard. By recording and objectifying the everyday banalities and fragments of spoken dialogue, Grigely transforms auditory phenomena into a compelling visual language.

The body of work brought together for this exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery was representative of distinct aspects of the artist’s practice to date. Built around his hallmark Conversation pieces, the presentation also included video and audio interventions, developed with partner and collaborator Amy Vogel. From the use of sound, these components unsettle, complicate and extend Grigely’s provocative interrogation of communication, language and perception.