With her ”Lesbian Love Tour” in 1996, which visited forty-five “lesbian living rooms” in almost as many cities, Sharon Hayes brought political activism to the art scene. Twenty-two years later, she remains one of the most important figureheads of American contemporary art. Meet an artistic practice that explores the power of the spoken word, from an entirely personal address to activism on urgent social issues.
In performances, photographs, sound and video works, Sharon Hayes transfers the private address to a public space, as in “Everything Else Has Failed! Don’t You Think It’s Time for Love?” (2007), a daily performance of anonymous love-letters in the street outside a bank in New York.
Feminist and queer activism
Hayes investigates how political intention and longing can manifest concretely, in a movement from the individual or the protective community of groups to larger forums. The video installation “In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You” (2016) enacts a pivotal work in the feminist and queer grass roots movement of the 1950s-1970s, of putting words to experiences and dreams that could not previously be voiced. This piece belongs to the Moderna Museet collection and forms the starting point for Hayes’ first exhibition in Stockholm, together with early and entirely new works
A seminal political and socially committed contemporary artist.
Sharon Hayes was born in 1970 in Baltimore and is now based in Philadelphia. With a background in journalism and anthropology, she is currently one of the most influential politically and socially committed artists in the USA. She has been featured in retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. Her works have been shown internationally, including at the 55th Venice Biennale in Italy, where she received a special mention, and at the 10th Gwangju Biennale in Korea.