Friday 02/15/19 7PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us

Lesbian is dead! Long live lesbian!

Cover Image:

Sharon Hayes with Angela Beallor and others, Join Us, 2012/2013. Installation view: “Sharon Hayes: Public Appearances,” Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin, 2013. Courtesy the artist

A livestream of the conversation will be available here.

Returning to Sharon Hayes’s legendary performance The Lesbian, staged outside the New Museum in 1998, this panel discussion with Julia Bryan-Wilson, Cecilia Gentili, Heather Love, and Sable Elyse Smith will take up the figure of the lesbian culturally, politically, historically, and with an eye to its many permutations and possible futures. Many of the terms of tactical identification that circulate inside queer, trans, lesbian, and feminist political collectivities emerge out of fierce contestation. While these terms often appear fixed and whole, their meanings shift constantly in relation to myriad forces—from those of radical (re)invention to those of repression and erasure. Debates about terminology are not secondary to the identifications we embrace but constitutive of them. Operating both within and between generations, these vital conversations reveal the fragile yet and powerful nature of the queer collectivities we inhabit.

The panel discussion will be followed by a reading by poet and artist Pamela Sneed.

This event is presented on the occasion of the release Hayes’s new monograph, which is published by Phaidon and features essays by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Jeannine Tang, and Lanka Tattersall.


Support for Education and Public Engagement programs is provided, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

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