Time Passes

Sharon Hayes & Brooke O’Harra
2001 –
8 hr performance

Time Passes is an ongoing collaboration between Brooke O’Harra and Sharon Hayes that takes the audio book of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse as its spine.

The performance is an 8-hour continuous event with Brooke, me, our kid Alice, and our dog, Cosmos. We are interested (and challenged!) in this project, by time. We are performing with and through the book in its entirety as a proposal-in-performance to occupy Woolf’s deeply gendered containers of time and thought. In Woolf’s text, thought circulates about and as relationships–social relationships and familial relationships but also relations to desire, ambition and aesthetics, relations to race, class and the nation-state, relations to politics and to knowledge.

“I will invent a new name for my books to supplant ‘novel’.  A new _______ by Virginia Woolf.  But what?”  — (Virginia Woolf June, 1925)

Motivated by the way in which To the Lighthouse embraces landscapes of thought over or as action. We take up Woolf’s challenge of form to find a new relationship, for ourselves, to live performance.

The first iteration of the work was performed May 8, 2011 at the Performing Garage in New York City. We always intended to perform the work multiple times across a ten-year period. Time got away from us, so to speak. The second iteration will be performed February 2, 2019. This iteration of Time Passes will be followed by others to be performed over the next two and a half years.