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
6 September – 9 November 2013, Tanya Leighton, Berlin
Sharon Hayes will install Public Appearances — her second solo exhibition at Tanya Leighton — featuring a selection of new and recent works. Among the existing works to be shown is the film installation Gay Power (1971/2007/2012) and the audio installation Sarah H. Gordon's Strike Journal, May 1970 (2012), both of which are being shown in Berlin for the first time. These two collaborative works expand on the methods in which Hayes engages the present moment, as one that reaches both backwards and forwards. Both works continue Hayes' earlier engagements with the period of political activity in the 1960s and 70s, but in these instances Hayes collaborates with individuals – feminist author, artist, and leading women’s rights activist Kate Millett and historian Sarah H. Gordon – who lived through that moment, asking them to revisit and reinterpret material they generated in the early 1970s.
Gay Power, at the core of the exhibition, is a collaboration between Hayes, Millett, and the Women's Liberation Cinema (WLC). The film installation utilizes footage that Millett and the WLC shot of New York’s Second Annual Christopher Street Day Parade in 1971, which celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, and campaigns for liberation. Hayes and Millett have created a voiceover soundtrack to accompany — or speak with — the footage. As two voices from different generations, Hayes and Millett address the footage and the “movement” from two distinct historical positions. Neither voice commands authority over the moving image, demonstrating both the coherence and incoherence of historical documentation.
Throughout her work in performance, video, photography, sound, and installation, Hayes explores the connections between love, politics, and history, through various forms of address. The recent works in the exhibition include: I Saved Her a Bullet (2012) — an over-head projection of Anita Bryant, the notoriously homophobic singer and beauty pageant queen, being hit in the face with a pie while crusading against gay rights; and a sound installation comprised of two vinyl records titled Sarah H. Gordon's Strike Journal, May 1970, specially designed and pressed by Hayes, records Sarah Gordon reading from a journal she wrote as a student. The journal entries document the 1970 student strike at Smith College, Massachusetts, one of a series of student strikes protesting the Vietnam War, racism and the National Guard killings at Kent State on May 4, 1970. Gordon’s perspective articulates aspects of that significant student movement that are not often celebrated, such as the mundane details of the organizational apparatus of the strike and the confusion about committing oneself to a collective position. Gordon’s voice registering the decades of difference between her written self and the one reading, complicates the transmission of this “authentic” witness to history. Hayes’ interest in Gordon’s re-speaking of her own text, elaborates the artist’s investment in voice as an embodied medium of speech. Sarah H. Gordon’s Strike Journal, May 1970 is situated within a larger collaborative work, Space-Set/Set-Space (2012), a variable collection of bare plywood platforms, walls and seating units, produced by Andrea Geyer and Hayes as stagings for their individual and collective work.
In the video loop Her Voice (2012), Hayes cycles through descriptions of female voices taken from newspapers dating from the 19th century to the present. Ranging from ostensibly objective accounts to critical judgments, these citations reveal ways in which voices are evaluated and, as a result, what borders are imposed around an individual. Implicit in these citations are assumptions of gender, an important factor in the complex relationship between speech and its reception and interpretation. By substituting first-hand reports for actual speech, Her Voice explores the tension among the written, verbal, and embodied voices.
For a large window installation titled Join Us (2012/2013), reconfigured specifically for this exhibition, Hayes organizes approximately 200 flyers inviting participation in various political actions from the 1960s to the present. Collaborating with individuals and organizations across the United States, Join Us, is a collection positing the flyer as a speech act, one that proposes itself to a receiver. May 1st (2012) continues Hayes’ interest in the intersections between private and public, personal and political, life. The five letterpress prints compose an address to an unnamed lover — about and around the potent pleasure and despair of political desire.