Women of the World Unite, they said.

2014
Sharon Hayes, Liz Ligon and Friends of the High Line
14 Black and white photographs

Women of the World Unite, they said. was part of a curated set of projects called Pier 54, initiated by Cecilia Alemani, director and curator of art for the High Line in New York City. Pier 54 speaks back to the Pier 18 project, organized by Willoughby Sharp with the photographer Harry Shunk.

The artists that Sharp invited to participate in that 1971 project were not chosen for their gender but all 27 were men. Alemani wanted to revisit the project, selecting artists who identified as women.

At the time of the invitation, I had been circling around a photo document of an action staged by a group of radical feminists in New York City on August 11, 1970 in which they hung a banner with the words: Women of the World Unite of the balustrade of the lower platform of the Statue of Liberty.

I was intrigued by the question of how one shouts in text. I was engaged by the ambition and impossibility of the demand that is being made. And I was moved by the complexities that trans politics brings to the political identification with a term like “women”.

In July, I asked 7 friends and friends of friends to come to the pier and help me chalk the sentence “Women of the World Unite! they said.” on the pier for a photographer, Liz Ligon, who shot the action from a helicopter.