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Coming & Crying: in person
Melissa Gira Grant / Nikola Tamindzic
5 June 2010 at The Black Apartment, hosted by Cindy Gallop and Meaghan O’Connell
With stories by: William Ball, Halle Kiefer, Tao Lin, Meaghan O’Connell and Melissa Gira Grant
Coming & Crying: in person is the debut of a selection of stories from the anthology, Coming & Crying: real stories about sex from the other side of the bed, in an intimate salon environment, before an audience of supporters of the project.
Stories will be shared as audio recordings played to the audience, as well as authors, for the first time. Traditional readings pit a passive audience against an active author who has more facility with writing than performing, setting all in attendance up to feel a bit lost and disconnected. We are asking each writer to listen with, rather than read to an audience, while literally under the spotlight and without the comfort of the microphone. We ask in return for the assembled guests to hold the gaze of the writer along with the eye of the photographer. Through this relationship of artists and audiences, in person offers a new structure in which to experience literature as an embodied, present art.
As authors listen to their stories for the first time with an audience, they will pose for long video portraits by Nikola, close-up recordings of intimacy and vulnerability involved in the exchange. The audience is invited to listen and witness in silence; all recording and communications devices will be taken from guests as they enter The Black Apartment, the home of host Cindy Gallop. The portraits will be the only record. Following the presentation of authors and portraits, guests will have an opportunity to speak with the authors and each other.
Presenting the stories that compose Coming & Crying in this format holds true to the raw, honest quality of the book.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Coming & Crying, an anthology of true stories about sex, is edited by Melissa Gira Grant and Meaghan O’Connell, and features Tao Lin, Stephen Elliott, Jonathan Ames, Audacia Ray, and others. Melissa and Meaghan first met through their writing on the internet. In January 2010, they turned to their readers online to raise the money to publish a book. 651 people contributed over $17,000. The book will be released this summer.
ABOUT COMING & CRYING: IN PERSON
When Nikola met Melissa to take her portrait one year ago, she and Meaghan had just begun work on Coming & Crying. They did not know that the portrait taken that evening would become the cover of the book. Now, Nikola is expanding his cover photograph into a series of still and video portraits of the Coming & Crying contributors and their stories, as curated by Melissa for their first public presentation. What unites these separate works – the portrait, the book and its stories, the writers and their performances of their stories, the video portraits – is their confrontational intimacy, their shared vulnerability.
(Photo: MGG / by Nikola Tamindzic)