Critical Writing Index

The Art of Joseph Grigely: Deafness, Conversation, Noise

by Susannah B. Mintz

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies, 2012, v. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-16

The article focuses on recent installation art, particularly large-scale pieces in paper collage and a recent video installation, by Joseph Grigely. It argues that Grigely's work stages dialogue between Deaf and hearing people as an embodied act that complicates ableist hierarchies, first by emphasizing parts of the body other than the ear and second by suggesting that misunderstanding is both inevitable and creatively desirable. Disability in these pieces becomes a source of artistic power and ingenuity rather than shame or lack, Deafness- and the various forms of communicative tactics it inspires- a locus of beauty. The notion of ordinary speech takes on new meaning in Grigely's art, which insists on the ethical value of honoring misarticulation as a paradigm for dismantling the assumed privileges of an oralist world.

ITEM 2012.021 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

White Noise (2000)Joseph Grigely

11 Green Conversations (2000)Joseph Grigely

8 Blue Conversations (2000)Joseph Grigely

Joseph Grigely

167 White Conversations (2004)Joseph Grigely

Conversation PiecesJoseph Grigely

Untitled ConversationJoseph Grigely

Condillac, Rousseau, and the History of Deaf People (1996)Joseph Grigely

Ordinary Conversations (1996)Joseph Grigely

A Panhandler (1995)Joseph Grigely

St. Cecilia (2007)