Few of us enjoy the annual ritual of mailing our annual income taxes into the Feds. For Dustin Grella, getting a letter in the mail can be a literal drag.
Grella, an artist and a C-7 quadriplegic who resides in Tribeca, has been mailing himself a letter daily for the past 10 years. The letters, numbering 3,650 and counting, still unopened, are now on display in a show, entitled Notes to Self, in Chelsea.
While letter-writing has become a bit of a cultural anomaly, Grella has enjoyed this practice of the daily writing; however, actually getting the epistles to post has proven less than straightforward, given the wheelchair inaccessibility of many of the city’s post offices.
So Grella chose tax day, yesterday, to stage a performance protest. With his taxes in his mouth and his wheelchair chained to his ankle, Grella attempted to drag himself up the 30+ steps of the James A. Farley Post Office on 32nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan at 6.30 pm. Grella was apprehended and made to detach from his chair, so the artist proceeded up the stairway to the cheers of onlookers and supporters – many in wheelchairs themselves – sans chair, on his behind. Once inside he dragged himself to the line, did his postal business and then slid himself back down the steps, one at a time.
And Grella was not the only protester on view in midtown yesterday. A festive group of young men in baseball uniforms, calling themselves the Tax Dodges paraded around with their hoola-hooping counter-parts, a group of girls in red cheerleading garb calling themselves The Loopholes.
Taxes paid, theater in check.
Notes to Self can be seen at the AC Institute Satellite Space, 547 W. 27th St., Suite 210, NYC through April 28.