The Whispering Buoy

Joseph Grigely

Artist Bio

The Whispering Buoy is a large outdoor sculpture made of a working buoy placed first at a harbor in Penzance, England, then in the Hudson River in New York City. Modeled on an 18th-century ceramic lamp on which a man whispers into a woman’s ear, Joseph Grigely’s project concerns navigation—both in conversation and in travel—and the desire to both share and protect information across borders and among confidants. The buoy is seen by boaters, pedestrians and drivers, and expands Grigely’s ongoing series on human speech.

Award Year


Joseph Grigely

Chicago, IL

Joseph Grigely’s solo exhibition venues include the Anthony d’Offay Gallery and the Barbican Centre in London, the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. He has also been included in the Whitney, Venice, Berlin, Istanbul and Sydney Biennials. Grigely has published several books, including Textualterity: Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism; Conversation Pieces and Blueberry Surprise, as well as essays on disability theory and body criticism. He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University, and he is a Professor of Visual & Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.