Sharon Hayes. What Do We Want?

June 7 – July 29, 2022



Exhibition view Sharon Hayes. What Do We Want?, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2022 © Photo: n.b.k. / Jens ZieheExhibition view Sharon Hayes. What Do We Want?, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2022 © Photo: n.b.k. / Jens ZieheExhibition view Sharon Hayes. What Do We Want?, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, 2022 © Photo: n.b.k. / Jens ZieheSharon Hayes, 2013 © Photo: Francesco Galli. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia
Curator: Anna Lena Seiser

Sharon Hayes uses photography, video, sound, and performance to explore the intersection of the personal and the political. Her multidisciplinary practice centers on the transformative power of language, which she explores in terms of historiography, collective subject formation, and political representation. As part of the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) presents a group of the artist’s works from various creative phases, and, with
Ricerche: two (2020), one of her most recent works. The ongoing series Ricerche borrows its structure from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s famous 1964 documentary Comizi d’amore (Love Meetings), for which the director traveled for six months throughout Italy, interviewing people of all ages and social classes about conditions of sex, sexuality, and related political and economic possibilities. For Ricerche, Hayes takes up Pasolini’s interest in interviewing groups of people, but focuses on specific groups for extended interviews. In Ricerche: two, Hayes interviews 22 members of two women’s American football teams about the sport and its challenges. As the conversation unfolds, the group reveals the complex conditions that influence collective understandings of gender, sexuality, equality, and community, as well as intersecting identities on and off the field.

Sharon Hayes (b. 1970 in Baltimore) lives and works in Philadelphia, where she is a professor of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions and major retrospectives, most recently at the New Museum, New York (2020), Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2019), and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2012). Hayes’s work has been presented internationally in biennials and exhibitions, including the Seoul Mediacity Biennale (2021), the Venice Biennale (2013), The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2022), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2020), and the Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2018).