(born 1970, USA)
Hayes’s experimental actions look at the history of political dissent, and how its messages survive into the future. In November 2005, over a period of nine days, she held up protest signs for an hour every day at different locations on the streets of New York City. The statements Hayes chose for her placards were all taken from significant American protests of the past. Some of them were specific, such as ‘Ratify the ERA Now’, or ‘Who approved the Vietnam War’. Others, such as ‘Nothing will be as Before’, were more generalised, presenting the passer-by with no clue as to their meaning or purpose. The two photographs shown in the resulting installation were taken by people who interacted with Hayes on the street. The statement ‘I AM A MAN’ comes from a 1968 strike by African American sanitation workers in Memphis. ‘WE ARE INNOCENT’ is from a 1953 protest against the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, accused of being Soviet spies.