In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You
Sharon Hayes presents a major new commission for the final iteration of How to work together. This exhibition is co-commissioned by The Common Guild in Glasgow.
Sharon Hayes (b. 1970 Baltimore, US) uses photography, film, video, sound and performance to examine the intersections between the personal and the political. Drawing particular attention to the language of twentieth-century protest groups; Hayes invites viewers and participants to re-experience moments of political and cultural oppression by staging protests, delivering speeches, and re-performing demonstrations. For her commission at Studio Voltaire, her first in a UK institution, Hayes has looked specifically at queer and feminist archives in the US and UK which document gay rights, and women’s liberation. Working with both the content and display of archives, Hayes has re-staged some of the most affective forms of presentation she has encountered.
Hayes has built a new large-scale installation that completely bisects the gallery. The structure references hoarding and notice boards used as sites of communication for protest and action groups, upon which Hayes presents a new six channel film and large-scale wall drawing, based on content from newsletters and DIY magazines using reproduced and reconstructed posters, maps, calendars, prints and photographs.
The artist is interested in 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. The transformative power of language is discernable throughout the artist’s multi-disciplinary practice.
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 will serve to interrogate the genealogy of our current moment in feminism and queer politics, paying particular attention to the persistent violence that attends women who claim attention in a public space.
The title of this new commission is derived from two sides of an Anita Bryant record (Side A: In My Little Corner of the World; Side B: Anyone Would Love You). Bryant, a US entertainer and Orange Juice spokesperson, became the leader of an anti-gay campaign in 1977 and was subsequently vilified by gay rights groups for doing so.
This exhibition forms part of How to work together and is co-commissioned with The Common Guild in Glasgow.
This 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.
About the artist
Sharon Hayes (b. 1970, Baltimore, US) lives and works in Philadelphia. Recent solo exhibitions include: Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland (2015); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2014); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2012); Museo Naconial Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2012); The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2011); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2011). Recent group exhibitions include: Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2015); MoMA P.S. 1, New York (2014); Hayward Gallery, London (2014); Wellcome Collection, London (2014); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2014); and 55th Venice Bienniale, Venice (2013). The artist is represented by Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.
About How to work together
How to work together is a shared programme of contemporary art commissioning and research devised by Studio Voltaire, Chisenhale Gallery and The Showroom. The other commissioned artists for 2016 are Maria Eichhorn at Chisenhale Gallery, 23 April – 29 May and Koki Tanaka at The Showroom, 29 April – 18 June.
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, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Cockayne and The London Community Foundation.