What’s unique about hair as a medium, to you? What thoughts does hair elicit in a viewer? As a medium, it is very fragile. Its delicacy requires a specific treatment when used as a medium or in a more industrial sense. What started as performative objects which, when attached to my limbs extended the body in the studio, later evolved into individual, independent forms: objects that completely substituted for the body. The importance of a bodily subject to carry them gradually disappeared.
I work with the appropriation of organic materials, and my process culminated in working not with human hair at all, but it’s synthetic double—which unlike the former, has no biological trace or bodily value. As Baudrillard writes in his explanation of the hyperreal and simulacra, the works resemble the real, without the origin of reality. I explored approximating the human hair with something both its imitation and its biological opposite. Synthetic hair is chemically resistant and doesn’t submit to the external influences and passage of time like our bodies do. The objects exhibited—Shaper 01, 02, 03 and Boots TR131, TR132—are made entirely from synthetic fibres. Their materiality has nothing to do with the body anymore, even though the form and medium suggest it.
How do people react to hair in the fine art gallery space? How does the exhibition space recontextualize hair? When creating the works, I was intrigued by my own reaction to the emerging forms. At times I was disturbed—the black piece seemed so untamed that I was unsure I would exhibit it. The most common response from others in the final exhibition space was a perception of the objects as simultaneously fragile and aggressive.
The visual of the exhibition is singular and static. All objects are positioned on the floor, fragile and vulnerably exposed, on the same ground as the visitor. The works emerge from the floor and submerge back into them in different parts of the gallery, suggesting they may be interconnected under the surface. Positioned in a triangle, you can also see nearly transparent nylon objects moulded in the shapes of different shoes. Taking the form of prosthetics, they give an impression they have been left there or forgotten. All of the objects simulate human curves, materials and forms and give the impression that something has occured in the space of the exhibition; this fictional gap or potential event is left for the viewer to discover.