Sharon Hayes and Brooke O’Harra discuss Hayes’s recent video installation Ricerche: three, which premiered at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Hayes uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s brilliant 1963 cinéma vérité film Comizi d’amore as the guidepost for a contemporary inquiry into the “sexual problem” in the United States in 2013. While the political climate in postwar Italy in 1963 is certainly distinct from that of the United States in 2013, both exemplify a persistent political condition in which so-called value-based policy and ideology act out symptomatically to cover up underlying economic and political vulnerabilities.
Ricerche: three expands on Pasolini's interest in interviewing subjects as part of a collective or crowd by focusing on a single interview with 35 students at Mt. Holyoke College, an all-women’s college in western Massachusetts. Brooke O’Harra, the director of Ricerche: three, was a Visiting Professor at Mt. Holyoke College for five years, teaching acting and directing, and was the first interlocutor with the students. Thus, the relationship of interviewee to interviewer involves, significantly, O’Harra’s primary relationship with the students. Hayes and O'Harra join us to screen the full work and address its relationship to Pasolini’s film and to histories of queer and feminist activism.