Andrea Geyer and Sharon Hayes, Space Set / Set Space, 2013, plywood construction, courtesy of the artists.
At the heart of STAGE SET STAGE is the mobile structure “Space Set / Set Space” (2013), a site-specific collaboration by Andrea Geyer and Sharon Hayes that responds to and creates an architectural framework for the artworks presented and for the research station. The research station will house its own website, a selection of reading materials, various documentary sources, as well as artists’ talks, writings and web sites by Andrea Fraser, Walid Raad, Rebecca Belmore, and Terre Thaemlitz as well as all participants in the larger project. It is a space within a space that offers the participants a platform on which to speak about and to act out ideas and issues related to identity and institutionalism(s), allowing the visitor to step in and take part, or to simply remain an observer.
Sharon Hayes, I Saved Her a Bullet, 2012, overhead projection, courtesy of Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.
In 1977, Oklahoma beauty queen and singer Anita Bryant was as recognized for her critical views on homosexuality as for the ballads that had made her famous. Bryant spearheaded the political coalition Save Our Children, which successfully crusaded to overturn a Dade County, Florida, ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. On October 14, 1977, Bryant was speaking at a news conference in Des Moines when gay activist Thom Higgins threw a pie in her face. Bryant quipped, “At least it’s a fruit pie,” and began tearfully to pray for Higgins. Here, a still from television footage of that event appears twice: once as the physical image on the glass of the overhead projector and again as the projection. This doubling of Bryant’s halted speech reflects the two actions by which speech has been made static—once by Higgins and again by Hayes, who suspends Higgins’s action in time in order to contemplate its implications anew.
Sharon Hayes, Her Voice, 2012, video loop, 4 min, courtesy of Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.
In this video loop, one of a group of newworks made specially for the exhibition, Hayes cycles through descriptions of female voices taken from newspapers dating from the nineteenth 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 the 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 firsthand reports for actual speech, Her Voice explores the tension among the written, verbal, and embodied voices.
Sharon Hayes, I Saved Her a Bullet, 2012, overhead projection, courtesy of Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
Sharon Hayes, Her Voice, 2012, video loop, 4 min, 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.
For recommended readings by Sharon Hayes, please consult the Research Station.
SHARON HAYES BIO
TALK AND DEMONSTRATION
AND SCREENING OF THREE CHANTS MODERN (ANDREA GEYER 2013, 25 MIN)
FOLLOWED BY AN ARTIST TALK
SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014