Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hair=>Cut=>Peace


Hair=>Cut=>Peace was a performance I undertook from approximately 7:42-8:18 pm in Patrick John Mills sculpture garden on July 7th, 2011. I have been processing the events of that performance ever since that night.

My intention for the piece was to remain silent throughout. I love to talk and am very expressive, I did speak on two occasions and when reviewing footage from that night I can see my body language was very telling as was the body language of everyone who participated.

Some people, as they cut my long blond hair, were gentle. Others were disgusted. Still others were aggressive. Everyone whispered something to me as they brought the scissors down. It was a humbling experience.

Towards the end of the performance things began to shift. Someone procured a pair of craft store pinking shears to hack away at my hair, an unassuming looking man cut a bald patch in the front of my head, people were losing interest and not approaching me. And that is what I love about performance art--the unpredictability of it and the intrinsic role of the audience.

After the unassuming man cut the front part of my hair bald, the mood instantly changed. I will never forget the gasp the audience gave out at that moment. I felt a huge range of emotions throughout the performance, everything from embarrassment to empowerment.

It’s taken me a while to process this experience and I haven’t been fully able to yet. I attribute this to; having a very busy summer--working, going swimming and out of town every so often and doing other art shows (I brought Creation Congregation to Big Art Party at Patrick’s at the end of July and I have a garbage art installation up at Orange during the month of August) and the intense nature of the piece.

I’ve since had my hair cut by my old friend Tony at The Clip Joint, his barber shop on Ogilvy Road. I have decided to grow out that front bald patch for peace.

The hair is still wrapped up in the green piece of fabric I sat on during the performance in a plastic bag in a cupboard in my sunroom. I hope to use the hair in mask making.



2 comments:

ZanetaPernicova said...

I remember that moment!
I had just asked you if you were scared and then I gave you s totally sexy bang.
As soon as I walked away, the man walked up and took it away with the scissors, Leaving a bald patch.
It was as if he had killed you
Z

Patrick John Mills said...

YOu are so beautiful Ali

always keeping it real