Eric Gressman–Emotion of Limbs

Written by Tim Gao

In Krannert Art Museum, Gressman amazed all the audience.

Photo by Tim

Last night, Eric Gressman, an Chicago-based Latinx queer artist, introduce the audience to his art world.Using proficient body language, Gressman performed to give the audience a life message.

Gressman was struggling to get rid of the arms and legs grown on his body. In my view point, the arms and legs are representations of the obstacles in lives. Those obstacles are hard to overcome because they are strongly stick to Gressman’s body and took Gressman great effort to tore them off. Gressman’s struggle to free himself from the limbs manifests his efforts to conquer the difficulties.

After the limbs are all disconnected from the body, Gressman started to move his body around, which I seen as the exploration of the true self. The movement seemed random but it is the deliberate randomness of the movement that shows the complexity of the exploration. The true self is hard to fine. There’s a moment when he rolled his body like a baby in the womb. This scene represents going back to the essence of human nature, where the self consciousness starts to develop.

Then Gressman slowly ripped off his white costume and revealed his black costume inside. The color of the costumes is a contrast. Black is dark that eliminates details of an object. Deliberately making his body all black, Gressman erases his identity and lead the audience into resonation and imagination. As part of the audience, I feel like I am this struggling person, all of us are this struggling person.

In addition, I also saw the last part, which Gressman revealed his black costume, as the emerge of the true self. Gressman demonstrated that now he is ready to reveal his weakness.

Another element that stands out is the music. As Gressman tore off the limbs, the background music repeats and sounds like a person screaming. Gradually creating a misery feeling, the music highlights the saddness of the struggle.

It was an amazing experience to witness Gressman’s artwork. Gressman’s message to the audience is the importance of being honest to one’s own self.

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