29 June – 24 August 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: 28 June 2019, 7–9 pm
Tanya Leighton is pleased to present ‘Nel Mezzo’, Sharon Hayes’ third solo exhibition at the gallery and the first presentation in Germany of her on-going video series ‘Ricerche’.
Sharon Hayes investigates the act of public speech and its intersections with history, politics, activism, queer theory, love and sexuality. In performances, videos, and installations, the artist examines these notions with regard to both the collective and the individual voice. ‘Ricerche’ is a project composed of multiple video works that uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film ‘Comizi d’amore’ (Love Meetings) as a guidepost for an examination of gender, sexuality and contemporary collective identifications.
In 1963, Pasolini travelled through Italy with a small camera crew on a cinematic inquiry. Interviewing groups of people (neighbours, co-workers, families, students, army buddies and members of a football team) on their views on sex, sexuality and what Pasolini named “inversion” or “perversion”. Pasolini divides this cinematic report into ‘Ricerches’ (Researches). As he moves from beach resorts, to town centres, to fields, universities and factories throughout the country, the work gathers various frictions: between the north and the south, progress and maintenance, young and old, children and parents, urban and rural, etc.
In her work ‘Ricerche’, Sharon Hayes adapts the structure of ‘Comizi d’amore’, following Pasolini’s foundational conceit to interview people outside and in groups. Borrowing from Pasolini’s questions and shot composition, Hayes’ works isolate certain of Pasolini’s scenes and stretch them in volume and duration. ‘Ricerche’ unfolds a contemporary field of non-hetero-normative family structures and non-binary gender identifications, and attempts to account for the complex contemporary conditions that inform collective understandings of gender, sex and sexuality as well as national, religious and ethnic identities.
Ricerche: three, 2013
Single Channel HD Video (Colour, Sound) 38 minutes
Commissioned for the 55th Biennale di Venezia in 2013, this work is an interview with 35 students at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts.
An all-women’s college, Mount Holyoke faced decades of declining enrolment from US born women and made a commitment, in the 1960s to heavily recruit international women. In the last decade, Mount Holyoke, as with many of these gender-segregated institutions, faced the increasing necessity to accommodate students who decide (after enrolment) to change their gender from female to male. On this level, and indeed less explicit ones, the population attending Mount Holyoke exists on a much wider gender spectrum than the description “all women’s college“ can hold clear.
In ‘Ricerche: three’ the 35 interviewees gather in one location, discussing gender normativity, religion, marriage, sex and queerness. In the last 12 minutes of the piece, the group erupts into a heated debate about transnational feminisms and the legacies of US imperialisms.
Ricerche: one, 2019
Two Channel HD Video (Colour, Sound) 28 minutes
This video diptych is Hayes’ most recent addition to the series. Structurally, it begins the same way ‘Comizi d’amore’ does, as Hayes gathers groups of children to ask the question: “Where do babies come from?”
Shot over one week in Provincetown, Massachusetts, all of the participants in Hayes’ video are the children of queer or gender nonconforming parents. The work is composed of interviews with two age groups: 5-8 year olds and young adults. Similar to those in Pasolini’s interviews, the young children on screen produce delightfully fragmented answers that mix imagination, fantasy, and words they repeat from things adults have said to them.
The young adults on the opposite screen, are deeply experienced with the narrative of their families and their births, most of them having had to account for their families repeatedly over the two and three decades of their lives. These interviews share detailed perspectives on their complex family histories and their position and role in the quickly evolving political and juridical landscape for queer people, and by extension queer child rearing, in the United States.
Come out!, 2019
Acrylic paint and newspaper on textile
110 x 154,5 cm
43.3 x 60.83 “
Hayes’ most recent work in the exhibition is ‘Come out!’. Facing the wall, this protest banner is hung back to front to inverse its slogan, which bleeds through the fabric. Scraps of a layer of newspaper – presumably used as a drop cloth – are stuck to the paint on what is now the front of the banner. Collected during the week of 15 June 2019, snippets of still recent news items can be made out, creating a fragmented snapshot of our current cultural moment.
'Come Out!' was a magazine published by The Gay Liberation Front. GLF, a multi-issue radical political liberation movement, existed from 1969-1973, coalescing in the aftermath of the Stonewall Uprising. The GLF often used the magazine as a recruitment tool, and something like a megaphone and a protest banner.
Sharon Hayes is one of the most influential politically and socially committed artists working in the United States. She has been the subject of retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and currently at Moderna Museet, Stockholm (on view until 11 August 2019). Hayes’ work is part of the public collections of Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Warsaw; among many others.
Sharon Hayes lives and works in Philadelphia, where she holds the position of Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.
26 April 2019
An ongoing curated project with artists, designers, ceramicists and florists
Paris Internationale 2019
17 – 20 October 2019
Preview: 16 October 2019
Throwback Jack, group show curated by Amanda Schmitt, Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York, NY
20 June – 26 July 2019
David Diao, 2018
Delmonico books — Prestel
With contributions from Philip Tinari, Michael Corris, Pi Li, Sarah K. Rich, Felicia Chen, Kerry Doran
Recipient of the 2019 Arnaldo Pomodoro Sculpture Prize
Solo exhibition opens in Fall 2019
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Milan
Phaidon Contemporary Artist Series
Text by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall
Travelling Exhibitions Programme of 33rd Bienal de São Paulo
Campinas, Recife, Medellín (Colômbia)
March 2019–January 2020
Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s. Works from the VERBUND COLLECTION, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain
19 July – 1 December 2019
Maskulinitäten Bonner Kunstverein, Kölnischer Kunstverein und Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf
1 September – 24 November 2019
Tanya Leighton is delighted to announce that the Museum of Modern Art, New York has acquired Marianne Wex's Let's Take Back Our Space: 'Female' and 'Male' Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structures, 1977
Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, established in 2008, is dedicated to developing a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational gallery programme with off-site projects, in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, critics, art historians, and curators. Its international exhibition programme reflects a variety of opinions and practices as well as Leighton’s associations with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art.
Director: Simon Gowing
Director: Patrick Armstrong
Project Manager: Marie Egger
Interim Gallery Manager: Melanie Isabel García
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
From yu to me
1 April – 28 May 2012, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
Monumentality and national identity – within and beyond borders – are important topics in Aleksandra Domanović ’s work, which often takes place on the internet as well as she broaches this issue in a reflexive manner. From yu to me, Domanović ’s title for her exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, describes the breakup of former Yugoslavia. The deactivation of the international, countryspecific, and top-level domain .yu (the internet country abbreviation for the nation) in 2010 can be understood as the final, symbolic elimination of the state of Yugoslavia. Yet, as the existing national identity is banned from the internet, new identities emerge. The federated states become independent and receive their own presence within the virtual world. Montenegro is registered under the domain .me and hence has also virtually become a state of its own. To that end, Domanović repeatedly refers to this political dimension of the internet in the context of Yugoslavia’s complicated late history.
Beyond her dealings in the virtual world, Domanović explores the more indirect effects of Yugoslavia’s breakup by working with its cultural artefacts – namely, the public monuments that can be found in all parts of the former Yugoslavia. These historical remains play a prominent role in the collective memory of the inhabitants of new post-Yugoslav states. Accordingly, Domanović ’s practice is a consistently subjective one based on her childhood memories, as opposed to one steadily engaged in her region’s current affairs.
Born in 1981 in Novi Sad, in the former Yugoslavia, Domanović studied in Ljubljana and Vienna, and then moved later to Berlin, where she continues to live and work today. Nevertheless, and most tellingly, a visit to her website aleksandradomanovic.com is much more worthwhile and informative than a visit to her studio in Berlin. Domanović makes use of digital media, which she quotes, transforms, and archives for her artistic work. She runs the mostly visual blog vvork.com with three colleagues, which is just one example of how the artist positions herself as mediator, and how she uses the digital archive of images as her very work material.
For her exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel, Domanović will show a series of new sculptures as well as further developed versions of previous works. Her paper-stacks (2009 and ongoing) are comprised of A4 and A3 sheets of paper piled into steles. By printing the sheets fullbleed on the margins only, an image is formed on the lateral sides of the stack through the accumulation of thousands of sheets piled up. In the paper-stacks, the query of monumentality is as important as the visualisation of content sourced from the internet. Single specific files downloaded and printed from the internet form the steles of the respective groups. Their subjects, varying from images of football hooligans to the ruins of the former Hotel Marina Lučica situated on the Croatian coast, belong to the symbolic iconography of the new states that emerged after Yugoslavia was dissolved. A stack that presents an image of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a registered UNESCO World Heritage, functions as a connection to the region in general, as well as part and parcel of the artist’s personal memory. Domanović visited this park one year before the so-called Plitvice Lake Incident, the first confrontation of the Croatian War of Independence. Nevertheless, the park is part of a now disbanded collective memory, as it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the former Yugoslavia.
With her video work 19:30, Domanović refers to an experience that everyone shared in the former Yugoslavia. At 19:30, the national Yugoslavian television broadcasted the news nationwide. But the artist’s 19:30 is a compilation of the news jingles from that former national news station and their transformations over the years. Domanović combines the jingles with their remixes, exclusively commissioned by her, and thus refers to a technoculture in which the music genre cannot be ascribed to one nation, but instead emerges from an itinerant youth culture that makes national borders obsolete. By these means Domanović emphasises how shared experiences can change and constitute an identity, especially by use of the internet as an archive and a platform of exchange. 19:30 can be shown as two-channel video in exhibitions; the artist also adapted sound remixes and parts of the video for Techno parties.
Collective experiences also play an important role in Domanović ’s video work Turbo Sculpture (2012). The term “Turbo Sculpture” designates figurative sculptures that can be currently found everywhere in the former Yugoslavia. Unlike war memorials, these public monuments do not refer to a common history of a specific site or occurrence; they are based, instead, on modern popular culture that knows no genius loci. Instead of war heroes, who would have been immortalized by classical monuments, local authorities now decide to eternalize Hollywood stars and heroes of the Western world in bronze and other materials. Bruce Lee, Johnny Depp, Rocky Balboa, and other film characters or public personae (here the real and the fictive figure blur) provide new points of identification for the community. The verbal reference of Turbo Sculpture to the term Turbofolk, the regional pop music, suggests that those sculptures remain neutral in the turmoil of political disputes. In the end, Turbofolk became a regional pop music that was not only composed of music from the performers’ own regions; it also captured folk music from other countries, including in the Middle East and the Mediterranean area. In the early 1960s, classless and stateless societies were seen as utopias embodied by the Non-Aligned Movement. Many countries from the Middle East and Africa, like Morocco, Syria, or Pakistan, joined this movement in order to emphasise their neutrality during the Cold War. With the idea to create a work that relates the history of the former Yugoslavia with the culture and tradition of Morocco, Domanović recently created a series of sculptures coated with Tadelakt, a finishing material typical of the North African country. Reminiscent, as they are, of the language of abstract forms employed in monumental sculptures in Central and South Europe, the appearance of Domanović ’s works is complicated by the use of material and technology rooted in a local vernacular tradition. This tension, then, addresses both the exoticization of local craftsmanship and the alienating function of high art’s seemingly universal modernist idiom. A case in point is a series of works Domanović developed around Ivan Sabolić ’s monument of three raised fists at the Bubanj Memorial Park in Niš, Serbia. For her work, the artist translated the three fists into reliefs and a freestanding, openair sculpture for the Marrakech Biennale. At Kunsthalle Basel, Domanović presents the reliefs with red Tadelakt finishing hung on the wall next to a new work, which itself takes on Bogdan Bogdanović’s 1960s monument Partisanen-Nekropole in Prilep, Macedonia. Treated with Tadelakt, the sculpture obtains an artificial patina, evoking the historical monument that inspired it.
The sculptures on view at Kunsthalle Basel are accompanied by one large print: it features a computer-generated rendering of the “regendered” profile of the former president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. The masculine personification of nationbuilding is represented here with subtly female facial features. In Yugoslavia, every school classroom once displayed a portrait of Tito on a wall in front of the pupils. Domanović captured the resemblance of one of her former female schoolteachers to the former president and created a portrait merging both. By using artificially generated brass as a surface of the profile, the picture becomes even more elevated and refers to the steady presence of the monumental character “Tito” in the common mind. And it is this repeated admixture of collective and personal experiences that persist and reappear long after the breakup of Yugoslavia that is the very heart of Domanović’s practice.