Sharon Hayes, Ricerche: three, 2013, courtesy of Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
Over the past ten years, Sharon Hayes has been engaged in an art practice that uses multiple mediums—video, performance, and installation—in ongoing investigation into various intersections between history, politics and speech. Her work is concerned with developing new representational strategies that examine and interrogate the present political moment, not as a moment without historical foundation but as one that is always allegorical, a moment that reaches simultaneously backwards and forwards. To this aim, she employs conceptual and methodological approaches borrowed from artistic and academic practices such as theater, film, anthropology, linguistics, and journalism. Her work has been shown at the New Museum for Contemporary Art, The Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (MoMa), Tate Modern, 2008 Yokohama and Guangzhou Triennials, 2009 Istanbul Biennial, 2010 Whitney Biennial, 2012 in Documenta 12 in Kassel and many others. She is represented by Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.
Sharon Hayes, Ricerche: three 2013
Ricerche: three uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s brilliant film, Comizi d’Amore, the 1963 cinema verite work, as the guidepost for a contemporary inquiry into the “sexual problem” in the United States in 2013. While the political climate in post-war Italy in 1963 was deeply distinct from that of the United States in 2013, both were sites in which a persistent political condition in which so-called value-based policy and ideology act out symptomatically to cover up underlying economic and political vulnerabilities.
Ricerche: three is the first of a number of works that will collect under the title: Ricerche. Ricerche: three, as an expanded (intentionally exaggerated in terms of scale) interview with 35 students at an all-women’s college in western Massachusetts, focuses down on a single site and collective situation. The interview unfolds on camera in such a way that you’re not entirely sure how many people are being interviewed as interviewees slowly add in with the camera, following Sharon Hayes as the interviewer, shifts across the group left to right.
Using the container of an all-women’s college (with only 47 such institutions remaining in the US), Ricerche: three attempts to address the contradiction that such gender-segregated institutions are “behind” and “ahead” of the rest of society.