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
Nothing Will Be As Before
10 July – 18 August 2018, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Ayreen Anastas, Sam Anderson, Cory Arcangel, Math Bass, Nina Beier, Martin Boyce, Vittorio Brodmann, Pavel Büchler, Matthew Buckingham, Andrea Büttner, Alejandro Cesarco, Talia Chetrit, Bradley Davies, Willem de Rooij, Jeremy Deller, Simon Denny, David Diao, Jason Dodge, Aleksandra Domanović, Eliza Douglas, Sean Edwards, Gerasimos Floratos, Brendan Fowler, Simon Fujiwara, Rene Gabri, Aurélien Gamboni, Goutam Ghosh, Laeh Glenn, Douglas Gordon, Van Hanos, Sharon Hayes, Stefanie Heinze, Lena Henke, Calla Henkel, Yngve Holen, Karl Holmqvist, Max Hooper Schneider, Renaud Jerez, Jamian Julliano-Villani, Wyatt Kahn, Sanya Kantarovsky, Melike Kara, Allison Katz, Alexi Kukuljevic, Oliver Laric, Joseph Bucher Leighton, Kris Lemsalu, Jonas Lipps, Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, Bill Lynch, Liz Magor, Enzo Mari, Orion Martin, Elizabeth McIntosh, Bruce McLean, Jonathan Monk, Pentti Monkkonen, Oliver Osborne, Lucas Ospina, Trevor Paglen, Max Pitegoff, Chadwick Rantanen, Dan Rees, Jimmy Robert, Julia Rommel, Martha Rosler, Borna Sammak, Amy Sillman, John Smith, Studio for Propositional Cinema, Frederik Værslev, Marianne Wex, Ian White
“Nothing will be as before” declared the invitation card for the first exhibition in Tanya Leighton Gallery, a solo show by Sharon Hayes titled In the Near Future, which opened on July 4th 2008. A 9 slide-projector installation (now in the collection of the Guggenheim Museum in New York) was shown in the strangely shaped rooms of the ground floor, street- corner space on Kürfurstenstrasse. Now, 10 years later, in these same rooms, as well as the pendant space across the road that opened in 2015, this statement proves prophetic. Nothing is as before – from the turbo-gentrification of this historically chaotic neighbourhood, to this sprawling assemblage of an exhibition that marks ten continuous years of exhibition-making and learning-by-doing.
The gallery opened with a tightly conceptual remit, rooted in Tanya Leighton’s experiences as a curator in Glasgow, New York and Philadelphia, working with American and British experimental cinema, artist’s film and video, performance, minimal and conceptual art. A central aim was to make visible or re-position marginalised or under-acknowledged artists, such as experimental filmmaker John Smith, the early sculpture of Bruce McLean, or the little known Chinese-American painter David Diao. Though this remains central (as a recent show of the extraordinary work of German artist Marianne Wex from the 1970s shows), the past decade has seen the gallery programme spiraling out in unexpected directions. At best, a gallery is a breathing, responsive organism, and over the years, the boundaries of Tanya Leighton’s gallery expanded and shifted to accommodate unexpected discoveries, recommendations from trusted artists, along with the constant negotiations of keeping a business afloat amidst the blunt realities and unglamorous obstacles of the art market.
This exhibition is a generous demonstration of the gallery’s osmotic principles, as a system which connects on many different levels and with varying degrees of formality. There are works by artists in the gallery’s programme, along with others by artists who have shown in group shows over the years, as well artists who happen to work nearby and are regular visitors, and even new works by artists once represented by the gallery who no longer are. Its jumbled contents are the social relations of the art business made manifest: a messy, extended family of sorts.
In the end – beyond owner, staff, and space – a gallery is the art that it shows, and the core decision of what to show and who to work with is always a leap of faith. There is no knowing how things will evolve, how the delicate relationships between artist and gallery will develop, what the work will become over time. ￼A double-digit anniversary is not only an opportunity to clear the basement from 10 years of accumulated junk, it is a celebration of these relationships and of the gallery’s role as a framework, an interface and an arena for conversation.
Amongst the cacophony of this concept-free show, surprising connections emerge between the works that describe threads of a common sensibility, or unexpected affinities. A summation of ten years, it is a curious and fascinating marker of time. Indeed, Nothing is as before, and will continue not to be so.
— Kirsty Bell