The Unofficial Archive

Hair matter(s) by Alix-marie Bizet

Hair matter(s)

Photo by Mischa Haller

Tamed, shaved, dyed or straightened, hair is a material that has been long used by humans to construct a portrait. Human hair is shaped to be a social indicator between individuals to communicate their status and cultural affiliations. Although hair’s original state is characterized by richly diverse texture and colors, our idea of hair has been steadily standardized over the years by the beauty products industry, media, and social conventions, making it akin to a uniform. Hair can also be thought of as a vector through which individuals fight time passing by concealing the onset of greyness and thinness, or a means to hide their heritage or even rebel against globalized notions of acceptability and beauty. The material qualities and styles of hair can place the individual in or outside norms via classification of the wanted or unwanted hair, these in turn can correspond to what is considered perfect or imperfect individuals. While researching hair and its various structures, I tried to find specific techniques and scenarios for every hair type by creating designs where all hairs are wanted and needed for their specificity and structural qualities. You can say we are in a time of crisis, in which intolerance and prejudice begin with judgment of one’s natural hair qualities, or style. This project offers hair as a platform for understanding, as a medium to talk about diversity of individuals and how it is essential to address the subject of democracy and an equality of all hairs in society.

Alix-marie Bizet