Sharon Hayes is an artist who engages multiple mediums–video, performance, and installation–in ongoing investigation into specific intersections between history, politics and speech. Hayes’ work is concerned with developing new representational strategies that interrogate the present political moment as a moment that reaches simultaneously backward and forward; a moment that is never wholly its own but rather one that is full of multiple past moments and the speculations of multiple futures. From this ground, Hayes addresses political events or movements from the 1960s through the 1990s. Her focus on the sphere of the near-past is influenced by the potent imbrication of private and public urgencies that she experienced in her foundational encounters with feminism and AIDS activism. Hayes’ work been shown at the Venice Biennale (2013), the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, Tanya Leighton Gallery, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia among other venues. Hayes is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship (2016), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), the Alpert Award in Visual Arts (2013), an Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2013), Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Fellowship (2007). Hayes teaches in the Department of Fine Arts, Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. A monograph on Hayes’ work was published last year as part of Phaidon’s Contemporary Artist series.
Brooke O’Harra is a director and performer. She co-founded The Theater of a Two-headed Calf. O’Harra developed and directed all 14 of Two-headed Calf’s productions including the OBIE Award winning Drum of the Waves of Horikawa (2007 HERE), Trifles (Ontological Hysteric Incubator 2010), and the opera project You, My Mother (2012 La Mama ETC, 2013, River to River Festival).
O’Harra conceived, directed, wrote for, and performed in the Dyke Division’s live serial Room for Cream (Four seasons — 28 episodes) at La Mama, ETC 2008-10 and at the New Museum 2017.
For several years she has been creating and performing a nine-part directing/performance project, I am Bleeding All Over the Place: Studies in directing or nine encounters between me and you. Brooke is also the co-creator of a collaborative performance with artist Sharon Hayes called Time Passes. Time Passes is an 8-hour performance that uses the book-on-tape recording of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse as its spine. She is currently creating a new opera with ensemble Yarn/Wire and poet Ross Gay titled “We’ll start with our eyes closed.”
Visiting Artists and Scholar
Jibz Cameron is a performance/video artist and actor living in Los Angeles. Her multi-media performance work as alter ego Dynasty Handbag has spanned 15 years and been presented at such institutions as MOCALA, PS1, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, REDCAT, The Broad Museum, Hammer Museum, New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, among others. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “the funniest and most pitch perfect performance seen in years” and “outrageously smart, grotesque and innovative” by The New Yorker. She has written and produced 7 evening length performance pieces and countless short works that have been performed in clubs and venues internationally. She has produced multiple video works and 2 albums of original music. In addition to her work as Dynasty Handbag she has also been seen acting in films, theater and television (internet web series no one has seen). She works as a professor of performance and comedy related subjects as well as lecturing and teaching workshops. Jibz also produces and hosts Weirdo Night!, a monthly comedy and performance event in Los Angeles.
Tavia Nyong’o is a professor of performance studies at Yale University, where he teaches in the American Studies, African American Studies, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Theater Studies programs. His books include The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory (2009) and Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life (2018). He is working on two current research projects — a study of Samuel Delany and the emergence of queer of color speculation, and a set of essays considering cultural appropriation through the lens of queer East African aesthetic production. He is a longstanding member of the Social Text editorial collective and co-edits the Sexual Cultures book series with Ann Pellegrini and Joshua Chambers-Letson.
taisha paggett is a dance artist whose individual and collaborative interdisciplinary works re-articulate and collide specific western choreographic practices with the politics of daily life in order to interrupt fixed notions of queer black embodiment, desire and survival. Works include the dance company project, WXPT (we are the paper, we are the trees) and the collaborative School for the Movement of the Technicolor People, both of which seek to radicalize concepts held within contemporary dance by way of an intersection with social practice; critical pedagogy; somatic and contemplative investigations; queer, feminist and black studies; performance and visual art studies; and the political and philosophical meshes of personal history.
paggett’s work has been presented at the Hammer Museum; Commonwealth & Council (LA); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LA); Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia); DiverseWorks (Houston); the Whitney Museum; Studio Museum in Harlem; Danspace at St Mark’s Church (New York); Defibrillator (Chicago); Gallery TPW (Toronto); and the Simon Fraser University and the Audain Gallery (Vancouver), amongst other venues. paggett has participated in residencies at the Headlands (Sausalito, CA), Light Box (Detroit); University of British Columbia, Okinagan’s Summer Indigenous Studies program; and Basis Voor Actuel Kunst (Utrecht, NL).
In 2019, paggett was recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Merce Cunningham Award and is currently Associate Professor of Dance at UC Riverside.
Wilmer Wilson IV is an artist working across multiple mediums, including sculpture, photography, performance, publication, drawing, and video. His work draws together the fragments of everyday social life into speculative organs that augment bodies, interrogating received definitions of what it means to be human. His work has been featured internationally at institutions including The New Museum, The Barnes Foundation, The National Portrait Gallery, New Orleans Museum of Art, and In Flanders Fields Museum.