single screen video - 15 mins - 1999

'The viewer is presented with a near body sized image of the cover of a book. Slowly the camera moves towards the cover, zooms in, and then the image goes dark. The darkness suddenly dissipates to reveal a blurry image of another book which then snaps into focus, approaches the viewer, and then repeats the process. The tape continues until a black cover is reached, and then starts again. The essentially random selection of books are arranged so that, through either text or image on the cover, a linkage or narrative is generated, a syntactical progress deliniated through space and time. The video installation is simultaneously peformative, sculptural, physical, literary and visual: moving between orders of communication and representation, and indeed between seemingly incompatible modes: the linear temporal spaces of film and the multi-celled worlds of fictive (literary) spaces. A simple track that uses pun and allusion as its constituent tools for its reading.'
From catalogue essay, Artspace, Sydney

'The idea for Richard Grayson's video, Ahistoryofreading, "came out of nowhere" (his words). He emptied the shelves of books in a New York studio - where he was staying -- arranged them for their witty title and cover association, and lined them up to be video-taped being pushed down, one by one. The camera perspective was inspired by teen horror-films: the camera taking the predator point-of-view. Projected on a wall-size scale, Grayson's video has the look of a cheap and absurd horror film, and the audio track, the "thud" of each book as it drops to the floor. The title comes from one of the books, Alberto Manguel's, A History of Reading.'
Ihor Holubizky, Kelowna Art Gallery, Canada