HA[A]RVEST concept

A project by barbara caveng, currently artist in residence at Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, in in cooperation with hairdressers of the Münsterland region, and their customers.

Studio Künstlerdorf Schöppingen

Who knows in the evening under which sky he or she’ll wake up?

The HA[A]RVEST project refers to the agricultural environment of the Münsterland region: the project name’s reference to ‘harvest’ is obvious; ‘Haar’ is German for ‘hair’. Agriculture and its products can make a significant contribution to the well-being of society.
Societies are subject to constant change: values and norms alter, living and working conditions require permanent adaptation. Technical developments accelerate the rhythm of life. People migrate – some voluntarily and out of curiosity to discover the world, others flee from war and environmental catastrophes or are in search of an economic livelihood.

Who is part of society?
A question to cause unrest. Who is ‘we’ and who are the ‘others’? Nobody wants to be alone. Everyone longs for social warmth.

Even a hair casts its shadow.
In ancient times, hair was regarded as a symbol of vitality and home of the soul. Locks of hair of the adored in a medallion or the hair of the beloved between book pages are reminiscent of loved ones. To this day, hair is an expression of individuality and belonging. Hair is is a means to protest or to express a certain attitude, whether as hippie, punk, hipster or skin. Hair is waving for freedom.

Hair is a bearer, a messenger. Every single hair will reveal the delinquent. Hair carries DNA: The distinctiveness of a human being is in his or her hair – even beyond death.
Hair continues to exist when the soft tissue on the human body has long returned to the elements.

Blow dried or combed, with waves and bouncing, dyed, braided or twisted over curlers, hair is a seismograph of our personality and testifies to individual change. We assign a hairdresser the special task of making our self ‘beautiful’ and what’s more: After treatment we hope to encounter an image of increased attractiveness in the mirror.
Beauty is an indicator of social acceptance.
Curls and strands of hair remain on the floor at the hairdresser’s salon. While falling, hair looses in value. Tufts of hair trigger ambivalent reactions. They seem to hold the nightmare of forced shaving, humiliation and the loss of vitality. 

Hair recovery.
Over a period of several months, the artist barbara caveng picks up hair that falls to the floor at the hairdresser’s. Hair that was cut, combed out or shaved, and is thrown away at the end of the day. Hair by hair, the continuously growing collection represents the complexity of society – with its long-established members and transient visitors

In August 2019, at harvest time, the collaborative harvest of 300 kg of hair will be pressed into a bale of hair during a public ceremony:
HA[A]RVEST, a social sculpture.

photomontage HA[A]RVEST project

The HA[A]RVEST project is being realized as part of a residence scholarship in the artist village of Schöppingen 2019.