To Name A Few
27 April – 22 June 2019, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Preview: Friday, 26 April 7–9 pm
I am sitting here with this feeling, and it is a familiar feeling, and it is my heart.
I am needing to reassure myself that I am not writing this letter to you, that I am
just writing it, simply writing it, simply letting it wander out.
I feel sad. My heart, my chest, what fills my chest, something like the taste of
copper, like sucking on a penny, like licking a 9 volt battery and getting a little
shock. It’s here, a little shock.
It has never been so apparent, the workings of shame embedded in my being so
old and outside, yet all the same my own deep thing to tend to, untangle, air out
And I guess it’s true, now I am writing to you. I am writing to you from me and
also to myself.
But isn’t that a letter?
The linear scroll is scraping against the pavement.
In my delusions I am literally some kind of a hero and that is embarrassing.
What holds the reigns, I think of some force, nameless, shapeless within and
outside this bodily container. Sending signals into outer space and actually
I can tell you the joy of this spring day, the brightness of 4PM light, the spirits
that burst through at this time. It’s almost too much of a drunken feeling to
manage. It’s almost too much.
There is my heart again. You know, I haven’t been able to feel my heart in so
And now I pause, and just stare at my hands, still on the board.
And in this moment I decided this letter is no longer for you, because I know
that you don’t want it.
This letter is for my heart, and I can say anything to my heart.
Right now, I am saying to my heart, I am sorry. I am sorry that I wrapped you up in cotton batting and put you away all tampered down and quiet. I am sorry that I hid you from myself, that I turned away from you while we were sleeping, and on purpose, many times.
I am sorry that I turned away from you, my heart. My beautiful, my tender, my sensitive, my loving, my strong, strong heart. And I am so sorry that I put you to rest so often as to no longer feel anything between my ribs and the sky.
To Name a Few
Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Gallery Weekend 2019
26 April – 22 June 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
...and other such stories
Chicago Architecture Biennial
Chicago Cultural Center
19 September 2019 – 5 January 2020
Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples
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
Gallery Manager: Jessica Aimufua
Registrar: Henry Babbage
Finance Manager: Stefan Schuster
Tanya Leighton GmbH
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
Open Tuesday – Saturday
11am – 6pm and by appointment
In My Little Corner of the World
15 April – 5 June 2016, Studio Voltaire, London
For her commission at Studio Voltaire, Hayes has looked specifically at queer and feminist archives across the US and UK which document gay rights, and women’s liberation. Working with both the content of these archives and how they are disseminated, Hayes has restaged and re–presented material that ranges from the seemingly mundane or administrative, to more affective forms.
Hayes’ new work, In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You, is a five-channel video installation projected onto a large plywood structure that bisects the gallery. Referencing hoarding and notice boards used as sites of communication for action and support groups, Hayes’ new work restages material extracted from newsletters and small-run publications produced by feminist, lesbian and effeminist political collectives in the US and UK from 1955-1977. Thirteen readers/performers, from the contemporary queer and feminist community in Philadelphia, read the texts aloud. The work draws out the complex relationships between communication and isolation, as well as marking some of the critical debates that circulated in the early formation of lesbian, feminist, lesbian-feminist and gay liberation political positions. Filmed within a domestic setting, the ‘home’ is posited as a political site, a site where politics is made, where political language was written and read and where individuals and collectives gathered the language to define their political identities and aspirations.
As an extension of the commission, Hayes has produced a poster that will be fly-posted on sites across London throughout the duration of the exhibition. The poster contains a tightly cropped image taken of the Gay Liberation Front’s 1971 manifesto. The photograph’s orientation is intentionally altered, changing the way in which we view the image. The original photograph was taken by John Chesterman and is now housed at Hall-Carpenter Archives at the London School of Economics.
The artist is attentive to the moments in which communities are built and ideas are shared through the action of reading. Through these methods of enactment the artist is engaging in what she calls “speech acts”, highlighting the friction between common activities and personal actions to examine how collective consciousness is built. Hayes is interested in the limits of gender as well as the historic and contemporary ways in which feminist and queer political collectives continually expand and constrain gender expression. These new works serve to interrogate the genealogy of our current moment in feminism and queer politics.
The material reinterpreted in Hayes’ new commission was drawn from research undertaken in collaboration with Rose Gibbs (London) and Tara Burk and Heather Holmes (US). The archives used include: The Hall Carpenter Archives at the London School of Economics; the Gay News Photo Archive at Bishopsgate Library; The George Padmore Institute in London; The William Way Archives in Philadelphia; The Daughters of Bilitis Archives in the Gale Cenage Learning Databases; and the Herstory X newsletter archives at the University of Pennsylvania Library.
Sharon Hayes’ commission is a part of the third and final year of How to work together, a shared programme of commissioning and research by Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire. The exhibition has been co-commissioned with The Common Guild in Glasgow.
How to work together is supported by a capacity building and match funding grant from Arts Council England through Catalyst Arts, with additional funding in this third and final year from Bloomberg and Jerwood Charitable Foundation and with additional funding for the 2016 commissions from Cockayne – Grants for the arts and The London Community Foundation.
Sharon Hayes’ commission is supported by Charlotte Ford, Haro & Bilge Cumbusyan and Valeria & Gregorio Napoleone.
With thanks to Hauser & Wirth, London and Chisenhale Gallery for in-kind technical suppport.