Hairy Business   Images of Man. Part 2   22.05. – 19.09.2021

Hairy Business: Images of Man. Part 2

With a selection of nearly 60 photos, the museum aims to give voice to diverse thoughts on hair and individual hair stories, as well as to question ideals of beauty and gender norms. The exhibition “Hairy Business“ (22 May to 19 September 2021) is presented within the context of the permanent collection and in particular the sculpture gallery “Images of Man“, expanding the representation of the human figure by the small but fine detail of hair.

Measured against common ideals of beauty, every person has somewhere on their bodies too much or too little hair. It is therefore not surprising that, according to surveys, more and more people are declaring war on their body hair and are shaving, epilating, plucking, waxing and sugaring. In art, too, there is a debate about ideals of beauty. However, or precisely because of this, body hair is rarely depicted on certain parts of the body. The works of art from the collection of the Kunsthalle Bremen are no exception.

In the exhibition “The Picasso Connection“, however, the type of body hair that is nowadays often associated with feelings of shame, discomfort or embarrassment can be found after all. The Kunsthalle has taken these depictions as the starting point for a call for photographs dealing with body hair in all its facets and the memories, thoughts or experiences associated with it. In response to the call more than 1.000 photos were submitted. The overwhelming number of photographs not only highlights the relevance of the topic for a wide range of generations, genders and identities. They also reflect the scope of the topic: the stories include humorous, thought-provoking and sad experiences with existing or missing hair – under the armpits, on the stomach, on the legs, in the face or on the head.

A selection of the submitted photographs and their stories will be presented in the context of the permanent collection and are juxtaposed in the gallery “Images of Man“ with sculptures of the human figure from the Kunsthalle collection. Although the sculptures on display mostly have hair on their heads, other body hair is depicted rarely. The photographs thus complete the image of the human being and give body hair a visibility.