Roger Cook: Can you expand on that distinction between ‘doing’ and ‘using’ performance?
Sharon Hayes: It came up simply for me: performance shifted from being the assumed form to a chosen strategy. By stepping out of theatrically based performance, I started utilizing various elements of that form to set something into motion, to ask a question, to initiate or suggest an encounter, sometimes to re-insert a past moment of time into a present one. I employed the form for specific reasons and many of them had to do with the relationship between a performer and an audience and, more generally I suppose, a speaker and a listener.
I’m also intensely animated by the relationship of the event to the ‘not-event’ of the document of a performance or political event. Out in the world of politics, these ‘not-events’ usually begin from some desire to document something that is unfolding, but if a photograph or a film or a video or a sound clip lives or carries on into the future, it is usually because it is something other than just a document.
Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) (02:48)
Screeds #13, 16, 20 & 29
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On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California by a radical political organization called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). From February to April, 1974, the SLA and Patty Hearst made four audio tapes in which she addresses her parents on the subject of her kidnapping, the SLA's ransom (that the Hearst family feed all the poor people in California) and the family and the FBI's actions during the ordeal. In the last tape, Hearst renames herself Tania and announces that she is joining the SLA in their struggle. From June 2001 to January 2002, Sharon Hayes performed a respeaking of each of the four audio tapes. In each instance, Hayes partially memorized the transcript of the audio tape and spoke the text in front of an audience to whom she gave a transcript of the text. She asked them to correct her when she was wrong and to feed her a line when she needed it.