Judith Brotman
After many years as a sculptor/installation artist, I have recently begun to explore text/language based conceptual and public projects.

Amongst these projects, I have begun a long-term one, “The Reading Project,” in which I invite participants to read to me for approximately one hour. I ask that the text be of meaning to the reader and that the title not be shared with me until we sit down together. There are both public and private reading performances. In some cases, I go to the home of a friend or colleague---these include people I know well and ones that are hardly known to me---and ask to be read to in the privacy of his/her home. I have also begun public versions of “The Reading Project” within the context of exhibitions spaces. I also am read to by strangers at the public library and have recently added a component of the project in which I am read to via Skype.

I am interested in this project's ability to shift who is artist and who is audience, resulting in a much more complex and fluid relationship. In a culture where “crazy busy” is a common response to “How are you,” these performances ask both the reader and listener (me) to pause and be present. I find the space of reader/listener to be a deeply meaningful one as it re-introduces an activity that, in our culture, often ends in childhood. I believe this to be a potentially rich and complex space of learning and understanding for both reader and listener which is impacted by the third party— the text itself.