This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Orchard - 47 Orchard St, New York NY
7pm Sunday 16 December 2007
Artist Sharon Hayes presents a new work at Orchard this Sunday: ACT ONE of an as yet untitled audio cassette performance, continuing her ongoing investigation of speech and its various historical contexts. Often performing what she describes as "respeaking," Hayes's work makes the identity formation implicit in discourse explicit to her audiences. She does this in performance of various historical texts, usually speaking from outside her own personal experience or intimate knowledge, dislodging speech both popular and obscure from its historic moment and framework. In the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Screeds tapes for instance, Hayes tries to speak from memory the text of four 1974 audio tapes made by Patty Hearst and the SLA, a radical, California political organization who had kidnapped Hearst in demand of a ransom that her wealthy family “feed all the poor people in California.” In her reading of the text, Hayes often misspeaks or recites incorrectly, to which an unseen group of people outside of the fixed video frame responds by aggressively correcting her. These videos are part of an open edition and distributed freely in gallery installations where they are labeled carefully and stacked against a wall. In this work, and many of her others, Hayes's own body and voice become a form through which the text — its own discursive form — is performed, both corroded by the passage the time and reinvested with meaning by ways of its new distributive framework.