Astor Hair, New York & Vokuhila, Berlin:
Hairstyling & Social Marketplace
The exhibition which is presently on display at New York University’s Deutsches Haus, aptly explores two salons as transnational: spaces that cut through the hard-edged barriers of dissimilarity—spaces that allow for a convergence of social, cultural, economic, gender and other forms of difference.
My fascination with barbershops and salons began at a very young age. My earliest visits to the barbershop were frightening. I can recall being placed in the barber’s chair and covered with a satin-like apron which was meant to keep my coarse, dark-brown hair from decorating my neck and clothes. While I was afraid that a stylist might make a mistake while cutting my hair (and one barber did when he mistook my instructions to slightly shorten the length of my hair to mean disappearing it altogether), I was equally fearful of being exposed as different within a space wherein myriad individualities traversed.