Sharon Hayes

Born in 1970 in Baltimore (Maryland, United States), she lives and works in New York City (United States).

The installation Everything Else Has Failed! Don’t You Think It’s Time for Love? consists of five posters and five speakers. Each of the posters, spray painted and stenciled in different colors, shows the image of a woman in front of a microphone, the title of the piece, a date, and an address in New York City. The posters and speakers refer to and are a reproduction of a performance previously carried out by Sharon Hayes on the corner of 51st Street and Avenue of the Americas, a public space where personal and geopolitical narratives merge and where the abstract concept of war is embodied and made human. During the 2007 performance, carried out in front of the UBS corporate building, Hayes read a letter addressed to a lover whose identity was not revealed, but who seemed to have been taken away from the artist by the war in Afghanistan. This intensely personal letter was read in a public forum. Over the course of the reading, Hayes addressed the people who walked by and compared their facial expressions and bodily gestures to those of the anonymous lover. Anecdotes related to the war, involving a fallen soldier and his mother, George Bush and his wife, and Hayes herself, were all recalled in an attempt to comprehend the forces that had come to separate the artist from her lover. Through the immediacy of the performance, Hayes created a work in which a public event that was lethal, to an almost incomprehensible degree, was reduced to the plane of human empathy, of a love that was cut short. [J. R.]