In nature the seasons set a rhythm, many animals adapt to the change: they shed fur, but are passive to the hormonal process. In contrast we humans are used to actively style our hair into a desired shape. It is not uncommon for a new hairstyle to be accompanied by a desire for change. In both cases, we living beings leave something old behind and face a new beginning.
Death too, contains this ambivalence. When someone passes away, it changes the loved ones. In the 19th century, the hair of the deceased was elaborately knotted and artistic floral images were created as a decorative memento. Hair is a durable part of the otherwise transient body and bears witness to the former liveliness of a person. For relatives it provides a link to the past, as photographs would do later.
In her series RENEWAL, Anita Steinwidder focusses on the physical and psychological alterability of living beings. In 2020 she began collecting her own hair, twirled it into fragile threads and crocheted her first mesh like object. Renewal or rearrangement? STEINWIDDER forms a collection of fallen out animal and human hair. Archived in tiny boxes at first, she designs and felts hair formations, sews them loosely with bright twine on textile. As each of them can be assigned to a specific living being, intimate portraits are being created. Short scrubby hair, a blond netting, two felt hair buttons. Anita Steinwidder designs a collection of tracks that range between memory, transformation and renewal. A diffuse ambivalence makes us shudder regarding the transience and the ease of renewal emerges.
- Idea, concept and realization: STEINWIDDER, 2020
- Limited Edition: 100 pieces
- Photos: Klaus Fritsch
- Text: Michaela Obermair, Anita Steinwidder
- Translation: Alexandra Leisser, Michaela Obermair