Hayes’ work often explores the role of the individual voice within a wider political history, and this exhibition draws on queer and feminist archives in the US and the UK to focus on gay liberation, women’s liberation and the political groups that preceded lesbian and transgender liberation between 1955-77. The exhibition examines the ways in which political discourse is formed and political identities constructed through individual acts of writing and reading.
Hayes' research included the magazines, journals and newsletters produced by lesbian liberation groups, primarily ‘The Ladder’ (published by the American organisation Daughters of Bilitis between 1955-1972), and ‘Arena Three’ (published by the British organisation Minorities Research Group between 1963-1972). She also draws on newsletters published by groups who existed for a much shorter period, from a few months to a few years. The exhibition includes material from a number of archives around the world, including Glasgow Women’s Library, which has a significant collection of lesbian and feminist publications.
Hayes’ work engages the intimacies of political collectives - both at times when movements are ascendant and at those times when they fail. Working from the content and form of archival materials, particularly the vast field of newsletters, 'In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You’ restages the affective forms of organisation she encountered in the archives. Organisation of labour, of community, of communication and public relations are of specific interest, as are the conflicts, both personal and political, that surface frequently in these newsletter communications over the specific limits of gender, the regulation of gender expression and the fierce racisms that many lesbian, queer and transpeople of colour encountered inside various of these political movements.