This publication was produced to coincide with the exhibiton In The Near Future by Sharon Hayes, April 8 to June 5, 2011 at the Contemporary Art Gallery. Designed by The Future with texts by Jenifer Papararo and Nigel Prince.
For American artist Sharon Hayes’ first solo exhibition in Canada, the CAG presented In the Near Future (2005-2008) her multifaceted and dynamic installation, incorporating 13 slide projectors and nearly 250 different images. The numerous images were gathered from audience members over four years as part of performances Hayes staged in six cities.
Hayes invited onlookers to document her enactment of 13 lone protests. In select public sites she picketed with placards bearing anachronistic and ambiguous slogans. Some she made up, altered or directly appropriated from bygone protests, such as, “Who approved the war in Vietnam?” is a phrase originally used in 1962 at the Charter Day Protest at the University of California and “I am a Man” a slogan taken from the civil rights movement during the Memphis Sanitation strike in 1968. Each performance is a paring down of the basic strategies of street protest – the way text, body, and place and time go together to define a subject and create a common language. Hayes’ discursive and aesthetic investigation in the history of protest chimes directly with the recent success of mass protests in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen, and the worldwide support for the Libyan revolt.MORE