31. 3. – 13. 5. 2023
Modern mornings begin with a certain amount of vanity. And the vain ones are considered shallow or dumb, straight up sinful by some. Yet the professional human being usually has a ritual urge to conduct some 7AM self-polishing before launching a day of earnings. Busy coffees ending in corners of mouths and then a graceful commute through a city shaped to bring capable people joy. Stopping, getting off, finally arriving at the playground/church/life sentence/gym formerly known as: the office.
Which is more a human destiny: growing hair or getting rid of it. Several millenniums, seemingly, before so-called civilization, face hair was trimmed with accessible tools. Shells and rocks sharpened and used to beautify the bearded. Probably a matter of practicality, too (just like any style choice is balancing between pretty and functional), but this inevitable desire to groom could be a corner stone of a homo sapiens lifestyle: self-contained individuals eventually becoming religious, eventually becoming bourgeois, eventually becoming yuppie citizens. Hair growth is the closest we get to animals and forests, hair removal is the closest we get to dolls. Those with hairy cheeks can nurture their own little gardens: well-groomed symmetric ornaments like furry petals adorning the mouth/covering the holes. They easily become pieces of facial architecture that signals ‘man’ in ways where it’s also a costume. Are costumes the opposite of nature. Are beards beards without a face.
Cultivating the ground that a human scalp is, harvesting its carefully monitored hair, selling it for artificial purposes: that is an industry. People disguising themselves with other people’s hair in order to entertain audiences: that is an industry. Hopefully, a person’s professional appearance isn’t proportional to their degree of grooming, but it could be. Wear an exquisitely maintained fake beard and look competent. When hair is removed from the body that grew it, it kind of stops being hair and starts being trash or theater. You would think of hair applied with glue to an upper lip like a prop, a symbol rather than a beard, and this is essential: for centuries beard-owners have shaved their way into a consensus-civilianism destined to end in fiction. Decoration and fiction seem codependent, but fiction doesn’t necessarily equal fake. Or maybe fake is just the insulted/know-it-all way of saying fiction. A highly fictive circle of people surrounds you, so opaque that only a face feature suggests their presence. Portraits of a therapeutic support group, potential danger, unapologetic law making. A distant relative peacefully forced into the yearly Santa duty. Coming together in an almost Victorian frieze of quiet desire, these guys are hungry and welcoming. They’re hung low but that doesn’t compromise their flawless trimming. Contemporary hair needs care.
If mornings are for hurrying, nights are for sitting down. First you wake up, then some moving around for different purposes, then bringing home earnings (mouths to feed), and finally going down, resting. Looking presentable through it all. A job is always repetition and prior to a job is the urgent need for it and after a job comes exhaustion. Baby. This day ends with another stinging sunset and red light will be showering those who work now.
- Nanna Friis