JEFFREY GRUNTHANER / CONOR MESSINGER / ANA MARIA BEZANILLA
The performance took place as part of an event called INITIAL CONTRACTIONS. Jeffrey Grunthaner was asked to blindly “read” an art book designed by Marley Freeman. He had never seen or handled the book prior to the performance, and was given only a few images out of which he structures his interpretation. The fundamental problem was: how does one read art? Because the reading of the work was blind, the performer had to be blinded too. The constraints specific to this particular reading had to be dramatized. To do this, Jeffrey Grunthaner instructed Conor Messinger and Ana Maria Bezanilla to wrap him in tape which he had found on site, focusing particularly on his face, so as to muffle the mouth. As Jeffrey Grunthaner paged through the book, reading whatever texts he could find inside it, he was gradually immobilized. In the end, unable to turn the book’s pages, he read lines of phrasings in different sequences, creating the semblance of narrative while also speaking to difficulty of rendering nonverbal communication in language.