grassroots political activism, performance art, queer theory, and national politics …
Revolutionay Love 2: I Am Your Best Fantasy
On Labor Day, September 1, 2008, artist Sharon Hayes gathered nearly 100 people at the Republican National Conventions on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul to read a text in unison addressing political desire and romantic love: Revolutionary Love 2: I Am Your Best Fantasy.
Conflating grassroots political activism, performance art, queer theory, and national politics, Hayes two large-scale, public performances included speakers drawn from the gay, lesbian, and transgendered community in each city who became the medium of her work by reciting the approximately 12-minute text written by Hayes 3 times over the course of an hour.
Drawing on both the history of the Gay Liberation movement, which forged a new and deep relationship between love and politics, and the current political moment, in which the war figures as a central element in the Presidential campaign, this performance challenges simplistic oppositions between love and war. Specifically, Hayes is interested in the militaristic aspect of groups that operated at the beginning of the gay rights movement, many of whom assumed aggressive, reactionary stances to culture at large. Where the classic slogan says, â€œMake love not war,â€ Hayes references the Stonewall-era Gay Liberation movement and their chant, â€œAn army of lovers cannot lose.
Hayes performances are intended to be spectacles, and are designed to mirror the spectacular nature of the National Conventions. Reacting against the tendency of groups to polarize feelings about homosexuality for political gain, Hayes describes these performances as personal addresses to the power structure, or a group of people speaking their hearts as one.
Sharon Hayes Revolutionary Love 2: I Am Your Best Fantasy is presented by Creative Time with the Walker Art Center and the UnConvention. Revolutionary Love 2: I Am Your Best Fantasy is a part of Democracy in America, a national public art initiative organized by Creative Time. The UnConvention is a collaborative project initiated by Northern Lights.mn.