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Ernesto Artillo is an Andalusian artist whose work consists of, amongst many disciplines, photography, collage, video, and installation. In 2018 he was asked by Lovisual to take part in their festival by setting up an installation at Cristina Marzo’s hair salon. Lovisual is an art festival based in Logrońo, Spain and organised by the Asociación Cultural Visual, that invites multidisciplinary artists to hold art interventions in various spaces and shop windows with the aim to create links between businesses and creators and bring visibility to both. Artillo was interested in the universal solution to most people’s problems: A new hairdo. A phenomenon too many of us are familiar with and has been turned into the odd meme – “Should I go to therapy or get a fringe?” Inspired by the salon environment, Artillo collected and scattered tufts of hair across a transparent tulle dress, not unlike a removable second skin, and gives the unwanted hair a new significance.

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Can you tell us a little about your initial concept behind Lo que se (lle)va? Lo que se lleva means to show what we take off, to reveal or exhibit what is not seen. We show success, likes, photographable breakfasts, the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous. But we hide the ill- being or the condition of being deficient in health, happiness or prosperity, the feeling of loneliness when someone leaves us. And sometimes we try to face those things with a nice haircut. Lo que se lleva is a texture of the useless; a concept materialised with hair tufts of different colours from people of all ages, genders, classes and race, representing stories that for any reason have been cut off, and trough this project they find a new meaning.

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"Lo que se lleva means to show what we take off, to reveal or exhibit what is not seen."
Ernesto Artillo
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What was the process for sourcing and organizing the hair? It took months to collect all that hair from different salons. When we had it all, we divided it by colours and tried to clean the tufts as much as we could.

What does hair mean to you? And what is your relationship with your own hair? I’m lucky to have a lot of hair so I can play with it. I’ve been shaved and also had very long hair. I like to cut it myself; it redefines my character, but I forget about it very often too. Sometimes people say you are leaving your hair long and I answer “no, my hair is just growing.”

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Credits

Installation Art Ernesto Artillo
Materials courtesy of Ernesto Artillo
Interview Katharina Lina

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