Told & Retold: An inquiry about hair

Date: Mar 25 - Jun 27, 1999
Artist: A.B. Forster, Anne Wilson
Curated by: Sarah Quinton

Told and Retold: an inquiry about hair is a fascinating sound installation, created by Anne Wilson and A. B. Forster, where human experiences of hair loss – both voluntary and involuntary – have been voiced. The answers to the questions “How does it feel to lose your hair?” and “What does it mean to cut your hair?” were prompted by Wilson’s Internet Web site and provide a continuous framework for storytelling.

The gallery resembles automated production or communication systems such as weaving looms, computers, mailboxes and telephone switchboards. The viewer is invited to wear headsets and listen to recorded voices that share answers to the two questions raised. Become entranced by such stories as, the woman who cut off her braids so her father would never be able to drag her by her hair again; or the neurotic 12-year-old who systematically pulls out her own hair.

Complementing Told and Retold, in an adjacent gallery, are artifacts made from human hair. They include: a Japanese paper stencil with individual strands of human hair used as reinforcing filaments; a recently made, stiffly woven Peruvian “underbelt” made from a woman’s long, dark hair, and; Victorian hair ornaments that symbolize mourning, love and friendship.


Narrative Strands, By Sarah Quinton, 1999