In an investigation into hair and its role in identity, agency, and power we are pleased to invite esteemed artists, activists, and curators: Kendall Gender, Karin Jones, and Saghi Ehteshamzadeh, to join us in discussing their practices and the significance that hair plays in their work and cultural identity.
The goal of this panel discussion is to foster a meaningful cross-cultural discussion about the significance of hair, particularly in the context of BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ communities. The event seeks to promote learning and awareness regarding the multifaceted significance of hair in our society, art, and individual identities.
This panel discussion is in reference to the exhibition, The Paradoxes of the Aura, by international artist Ángeles Agrela during her first Canadian solo exhibition. The exhibition will be held from September 28th to November 4th, 2023, at CICA Vancouver. The panel session will be hosted on Thursday, October 28th, 2:00 – 3:30 PM, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with Audience members. The panel discussion will be a physical event, hosted at 228 Abbott Street, Vancouver BC.
2:00 – 2:05 PM: Introduction to panellists
2:05 – 3:30 PM: Discussion
3:30 – 4:00 PM: Q & A Session
Seating will be provided on a first come first serve basis.
Ángeles Agrela’s meticulously drawn portraits immediately catch the attention of the viewer, not only because of her bold use of colour, and daring use of clashing patterns, but because of the amorphous presence of hair within her works. It flows from the scalps of her subjects in turbulent streams, crossing over and over again, twisted into preposterously elaborate shapes at times replacing the faces of her figures entirely. On the subject, Agrela has spoken at length, detailing the relationship between hair and its role in Identity, stating to Lyle Zimskind for White Hot Magazine in October 2022, that by using hair as a tool to mask and obscure the faces of her subjects she is able to “generate extra attention to the other [kinds of] personal characteristics that individuals consciously choose in creating their image.”
In Highlighting the connection between identity and hair Agrela is participating in a pressing cross-cultural discussion. One whose roots penetrate deep into a tumultuous and often violent history (contemporary and past) of colonialism, white supremacy, misogyny, and transphobia. Hair is of significant importance in BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ communities whose bodies have been the subject of constant policing over centuries by a white-hetero-supremacist patriarchal hegemony.