Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
4-channel HD video and sound installation
Dimensions variable
Edition of 3
HAYES-2010-0025

‘Parole’, the title of this installation, refers to the term used by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure to distinguish individual acts of speech (parole) from a larger system of language (langue). In this installation, several distinct scenes present examples of public speech in different contexts. Hayes draws on historical texts—such as early lesbian activist Anna Rüling’s 1904 speech - What Interest Does the Women’s Movement Have in the Homosexual Question — that ‘re-speak’ to new audiences.

These historical speeches, and Hayes’s work in general, explore the construction of gender and sexuality and the articulations of political protest, revealing unexpected resonances across time periods. ‘Parole’ encourages the viewer to think about how past forms of protest can inform the present and how the effects of public speech are altered in the process of documentation. Focusing around a central character who moves through the piece recording sound but never speaking, Parole attempts to tease out a relationship between politics and desire, intimacy and estrangement, speaking and listening.

Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(detail)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(detail)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(detail)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(detail)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(detail)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
(installation view at ‘2010 Whitney Biennial’ Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; photo by Sheldan C. Collins)



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
Installation view at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 2012



Sharon Hayes
‘Parole’, 2010
Installation view at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 2012