chapter
3 Pages

Sharon Hayes

More and more I think my work has become something like an enactment of a series of

performatives rather than performance. This perhaps reveals that although I was greatly

relieved to abandon (by moving out of the performance and theatrical venue) the demand

to be entertaining, I nevertheless have a bit of discomfort that most of the work I do in

Sharon Hayes creates moments of engagement with her audience in which she explores everything

from her American lesbian feminist identity to the politics of love and war, alternative forums for

public opinion, and most importantly the speech act itself. By defining her practice as a “series

of performatives rather than performance” she carefully delineates the parameters in which she

operates. Over the years, Hayes has utilized found speeches and recordings-often by well-known

political figures such as Ronald Reagan or Patty Hearst-to call attention to the slippery power

of language and its potential to construct or suppress meaning. More recently she has combined

found texts and snippets of language from songs, newscasts, and letters with her own writing.