Born 1970, Baltimore. Lives and works in Philadelphia.
Tanya Leighton, Los Angeles
Come Out, Come Out, Art on the Underground, Transport for London
What Do We Want, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
Whitney Biennial 2024: Even Better than the Real Real Thing, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Allegory of Happiness, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto, Trento, Italy
On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time, University Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine
It’s Human Nature?, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg (forthcoming)
Comizi d’Amore, Georg Kargl, Vienna (forthcoming)
Contemporanea International Film Festival, Turin (forthcoming)
(Wahl-) Familie, Die, Wir, Sind, Kunstmuseum Ravensburg
What is the Proper Way to Display a Flag?, Museum für moderne Kunst, Weserburg
Paint the Protest, Off Paradise, New York
To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Shifting the Silence, SFMoMA, San Francisco
Performing Past-Present: Transforming Reenactment, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, Pennsylvania
A Decade of Acquisitions of Works on Paper, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
After August Sander, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen
Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella
‘Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella’ investigate how voice acts as the embodied medium of speech. Hayes takes the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston, TX as a historical point of departure. The 1977 conference was a result of an executive order to assess the status of women in light of the United Nations proclaiming 1975 as International Women’s Year. Following the well attended and highly publicized event, an extension was granted for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. But having only been ratified by 35 states by the 1982 deadline, the amendment never passed.
The video work uses the transcript of a meeting between politician Bella Abzug – the New York Congresswoman who was appointed to head the National Women’s Conference – and her vocal coach. During their meeting, the pair work at neutralizing Abzug’s regional accent and softening her tone – strategically altering her voice to something more universal and soothing.
‘Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella’ addresses the political consequences of gender and the specific limitations of power, communication and relatability in the specter of public speech.