Friday, 14 May 2010

Elena Fajt - A Troubling Sense of Dress

FaceCULTURE's fascination with hair is well documented here and I am particularly intrigued by designers and artists who move this subject into a 3 dimensional form for presentation.  Elena Fajt is a visual artist and associate professor of fashion design at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, whose research has considered the analysis of the symbolic dimensions of hair, and in turn has incorporated human hair into garments. Fajt's Hairsense project invites us to think about the relationship between our bodies and questions our comprehension of hair: i.e. when it is on the head we admire it, but it turns into something alien and repulsive at the very moment of removal.  

Dreams, 2001

Hair Hat, 2001

Handwritings, 2001

Little Black Dress, 2001

Fajt's use of hair as a raw material and its application in and on existing pieces of garments and accessories invokes in many viewers their worst sexual fear, that of castration, impotence and unarousal caused by lack of sexual attraction, in the case of these fashioned objects, ugliness.  This fear is not surprising and within text there are associations with the discomfiture of hair to be found also.
While linguistically all words that represent hair stem form terms descriptive of specific types of hair, the colloquial use of "hairy", to mean troubling, was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century in a context that suggests that it may have been inspired by the Latin "horridus", (the source of English "horrid").
Heresy and "Hair-esy" in Ugo Tarchetti's Fosca, by David Del Principe Italica © 1994 American Association of Teachers of Italian.

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