The Queen of Sheba's book is found and opened. H(air)story emerges like a spell, revealing myths, legends, rituals in which the archetype of the Hairy Woman is celebrated, admired, adored, spoken, written and depicted with respect and playfulness, contributing to the creation of a positive body-hair culture and tradition. Who is the ancient Goddess Thrikseni (from the Greek θρίξ “hair”) - protector of hairy women - the muse of painters and sculptors, ancient and modern? What happened when Samson tried to trim Delilah's hairy legs with scissors, after her own confession that in those hairs resides her extraordinary force to make great heroic deeds? Which is the special ayurvedic recipe for body hair's care? Who was Lanugo (from Latin lana “wool”) from whom was named the thin, soft, usually unpigmented, downy hair that the fetus consumes before birth? Have you heard about the hairy armpit dance ritual?
A surreal and symbolic ode, a visual poem, a mash-up of re-invented (or slightly tweaked) mythologies, celebrating the hairy female body, beyond binaries of normal vs abnormal, trivial vs relevant, accepted vs rejected, female vs male, beautiful vs monstrous. At the end of the day, it can be argued that all these binaries are a construction of the human mind to regulate bodies and create categories to fit. Therefore, now is the time to re-write the past, by adding, re-imagining, re-proposing certain mythologies and histories around the (female) Body, translated through the lenses of the camera.
This is a new video work, part of a long-term project in which, through the means of video and photography certain beauty standards with(out) reference to body hair, are challenged, re-considered, de-constructed and re-proposed as another option and choice. Through the history of art, head hair has been celebrated by poets, writers, painters, whilst is an inextricable defining element for a healthy, feminine, beautiful and attractive body. On the other hand, as we descend the body map, armpit-face-pubic-leg hair is not anymore a sign of cosmetic beauty but something closer to what Kristeva defines as abject; a bodily waste, that which causes disgust or/and repulsion. A hairy woman can still be perceived as monstrous, deviant, unhappy, provocative, and masculine: meaning not a real woman. What would have changed along the way that the female body is perceived as if body hair were a positive and relevant part of histories, tales, myths and legends?
concept/performance: Fenia Kotsopoulou
camera: Fenia Kotsopoulou and Daz Disley
editing: Fenia Kotsopoulou
music: "Protected Space" by Room of Wires
Video created for the open call "BODIES" video art even curated by Enrico Tomaselli.