Hair Piece, 2004

Hair Piece is a participatory installation where participants are asked to willingly
blur the line between their public persona and private aesthetic ambitions. A
beautician was hired to style and trim gallery visitors' hair at no cost. Attendees
were allowed to get a free haircut, so long as they were willing to describe for
onlookers what they wanted to look like [without the aid of a mirror].

Because there is no mirror, an observer’s line-of-sight places the participant in
the frame behind the performance, absent any reflection. Each client makes their
choices publically, verbally articulating how they want to look and be perceived by
others. In some small way, each might reveal something of their identity in the

This relational project raises formal questions of high and low art, of aesthetics,
and whether [perhaps playfully] if it’s possible to truly change a person from how
they came in. More than that, this work is concerned with putting this intensely
personal conversation on display in a public gallery setting.