(beard + hair, plexiglas cube)
(black pen on engraving paper)
dimensions (each drawing): 20×20 cm
The work is based on Russell’s logical paradox, also known as the “barber’s paradox” as well as from the location of the exhibition, the Chan gallery in Genoa which, before opening as a contemporary art space, was a barber’s shop. The English philosopher and mathematician enabled his other colleagues to declare the non-existence of this barber, to make it disappear, shifting (to return to our starting point) the discussion on the self, on the fragility of the declaration of existence – I think therefore I am – but how do you “prove” that you existed?
In this work my idea has focused on what remains of the barber’s material – the beard and the hair – and their evocative power. Hair and beard are what delineates the boundaries of our face and have also become a symbol of different political and social affiliations.
I started to shave, so to save myself from that paradox that speaks of non-existence and that act has become a rite, a rite of which I have collected the traces, the beard and the hair and as it is done for the relics, I have thought of closing them in a container, a cube. That beard and hair pressed against each other against the glass form a pattern, a drawing that visualizes the moods of 2 months (from the beginning of the project to a few days before the opening of the exhibition), my desire or less to shave my beard and hair, my hair longer, shorter, all my identities superimposed in a single object that tells without revealing, of that paradox and of the trace left by my existence.
The work also consists of a series of 6 drawings that represent a possible catalog of people whose way of styling beard and hair has passed to indicate a social belonging.
The project is completed by a series of phrases taken from books and quotes accumulated over the years on the idea of trace and reality. Following the custom of the same barber to hang every day on the front door of his shop, riddles and phrases that striking him, these quotes alternate every day of the opening of the exhibition on the entrance door of the gallery.