Sharon Hayes is an artist who engages multiple mediums—video, performance, and installation—in ongoing investigation into specific intersections between history, politics and speech. Hayes’ work is concerned with developing new representational strategies that examine and interrogate the present political moment as a moment that reaches simultaneously backward and forward; a present moment that is never wholly its own but rather one that is full of multiple past moments and the speculations of multiple futures. From this ground, Hayes often addresses political events or movements from the 1960s through the 1990s. Her focus on the particular sphere of the near-past is influenced by the potent imbrication of private and public urgencies that she experienced in her own foundational encounters with feminism and AIDS activism. Hayes’ work has been staged on the street, in museums, galleries and exhibition spaces, in theater and dance venues, as well as in 45 lesbian living rooms across the US.
Hayes has had solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York), Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid). Her work been shown at the Venice Biennale (2013), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and numerous museums and venues in Europe and the Americas. Hayes is also a recipient of a Pew Fellowship (2016), Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2013), Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2013), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship (2007) among other awards. Hayes teaches in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Fine Arts.