Friday, September 21, 2012


Viewers are welcomed by a 100-foot long white curtain; and after going around it, they discover several stages and altars with signs and objects of propaganda: the central focus of the show. The artist creates a path based on sound routes and different points of attention, where different monologues are spoken out loud and podiums and microphones are guides for the audience. Hayes uses old album covers to highlight historical issues in American politics during the 70’s. The installation is contextualized in the ultimate political rebellion associated with the Occupy movement, and it has its roots in the queer right struggle that occurred in public spaces during that time. Ms. Hayes looks at this period from a critical distance.

The artist creates stages, scenarios and stands to congregate, which can be viewed as an architecture of empowerment and rebellion. However, despite the contemporary design fair or pavilion aesthetic, Ms. Hayes doesn’t create a space for appropriation or the participation; she underestimates the viewer, even though she gives us tools for a new 'revolution’.  Viewers have to behave only as spectators and contemplate in the company of the museum guards. One cannot approach the stages, touch or photograph the installation, and finally one is left to wonder: is it possible to create a revolution inside a museum? In the end, the show must be understood as a call to re-envision new forms of association, groupings and language for mankind: a universal call to congregate; pure idealism that is absolutely necessary in these days.


  1. The language in the first sentence of the review is slightly awkward, but the following descriptions become clearer. I find your opinion about the limitations of audience participation refreshingly accurate. This describes exactly how I felt in the exhibition, especially the comment of "contemplating in the company of museum guards." By ending the review with a question, you have provoked the reader to continue thinking about your writing after they are done reading, which is wonderful. In raising this question you extend the conversation beyond the exhibition itself. You end with a strong conclusion that demonstrates your personal opinion well without forcing it on the reader. My only corrections would be to change some syntax for a better flow.

  2. Your summary in the second paragraph is well done- succinct and clear without being prescribed. You’ve done a great job at giving an overview of the meaning of and connections between the gritty aesthetics of the show and the conflicts and politics of the day, while maintaining the integrity of the show itself. I do agree with Natalie, however, that your initial sentence is a bit awkward. I feel as if you begin by describing a ride at an amusement park, then steer off into a more literal translation of what you felt and encountered. Somewhere there’s a disconnect, but the ride was thrilling.