• Lo que se (lle)va
  • Lo que se (lle)va
  • Lo que se (lle)va

ART + CULTURE: Ernesto Artillo gives unwanted hair a new meaning in his art installation Lo que se (lle)va 

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

Ernesto Artillo is an Andalusian artist who works with photography, collage, video, and installation. In 2018 he was invited to take part in Lovisual, a Spanish festival that invites artists to create installations in various spaces and shop windows in order to create links between businesses and creators.

Artillo’s response was to create an installation at Cristina Marzo’s hair salon, where he explored a phenomenon many of us are familiar with, and which has been turned into the odd meme – “Should I go to therapy or get a fringe?” Referencing the tendency to turn to a new haircut when craving a little change in life, Artillo collected and scattered tufts of hair across a transparent tulle dress, not unlike a removable second skin, and gives unwanted hair a new significance.

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 through this project they find a new meaning.

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.”

  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR
  • ANTHROPOLOGY OF HAIR