LONDON: Studio Voltaire: Sharon Hayes

Sharon Hayes / In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You (installation view) / Studio Voltaire

A major new commission by Sharon Hayes, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK is on view at Studio Voltaire. 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 activism, Hayes’ work offers a re-examination of our current relationship to political protest, political speech, and the way in which this relationship is infused with traces of history.

For her commission at Studio Voltaire, Hayes has looked specifically at queer and feminist archives across the US and UK which document gay rights, and women’s liberation. Working with both the content of these archives and how they are disseminated, Hayes has restaged and re–presented material that ranges from the seemingly mundane or administrative, to more affective forms.

The material reinterpreted in Hayes’ new commission was drawn from research undertaken in collaboration with Rose Gibbs (London) and Tara Burk and Heather Holmes (US). The archives used include: The Hall Carpenter Archives at the London School of Economics; the Gay News Photo Archive at Bishopsgate Library; The George Padmore Institute in London; The William Way Archives in Philadelphia; The Daughters of Bilitis Archives in the Gale Cenage Learning Databases; and the Herstory X newsletter archives at the University of Pennsylvania Library.

Sharon Hayes’ commission is a part of the third and final year of How to work together, a shared programme of commissioning and research by Chisenhale Gallery, The Showroom and Studio Voltaire. The exhibition has been co-commissioned with The Common Guild in Glasgow.

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 and Jerwood Charitable Foundation and with additional funding for the 2016 commissions from Cockayne – Grants for the arts and The London Community Foundation.

Sharon Hayes’ 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 support.

Image Credit: Sharon Hayes / In My Little Corner of the World, Anyone Would Love You (installation view) / Studio Voltaire