The body remembers what the newsfeed forgets, 2017-20xx
On Jan 21, 2017 as people marched around the world to protest the incoming Trump administration, I shaved my head to set a physical clock, the beginning of a multi-year project of witnessing with my body. My hair growth is a steady, auto-documentation of the subsequent actions and effects of the new administration’s policies. At the rate of approximately .5 mm per day, my body marks time in an unrelenting way that doesn’t change regardless of the dazzle and blitz of counter-fact, disinformation, dead-of-night rights slashing and gaslighting of the Trump administration and Republican-controlled U.S. Congress.
This project joins a long history of artists documenting political instability and disenfranchisement through marking and manipulating their bodies. I also take inspiration from other organisms whose bodies keep a legible record: tree rings, elephant tusks, shark teeth. During this time, the length of my hair in every image made of me – family photos, documentation of other projects, etc – will connect precisely to the timeline of what is happening in my home country. In addition to these incidental documentations, I will periodically document the length of my hair and corresponding actions/violations of the government to date. The day DJT is out of office I will shave my head again, resetting the clock. If a full presidential term is served the resulting record is expected to be about 73 cm or 2 feet of hair growth. Whatever the length at the conclusion of his time in office, my shaved hair will be documented and displayed as a record of all that has transpired.
January 21, 2017: .5mm
January 31, 2017: 6mm
February 11, 2017: 12 mm