If you were at the vernissage of Pretty Ugly Art on Thursday, July 7/11,
you may have been part of the audience or you may have participated in Ali Sztepa's courageous, some would say, bold or brazen, performance art piece. Indeed, brazen was the colour of her hair before it was shorn, a self-described brassy gold, frizzy, she said, but this was not something one noticed that evening.
What captured the imagination, instead, was the giving of scissors to strangers and inviting them to cut her hair...in public. And not just a trim, cut it all off. You could take off as much as you wanted, lay it on the green circle, akin to an alter cloth, or tuck away a lock in your pocket, for old-time's sake.
Having one's hair cut is an intimate act, like going to the doctor, it's between you and your chosen professional. Having amateur Edward Scissorhands go at what is often called a woman's crown and glory, was an act of trust and profound courage.
Ali says she fashioned her hair piece after a dramatic gesture made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono who cut their hair short on January 24, 1970, declaring that 1970 would be ‘Year One’ for peace.
(See photo #9)