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HAAR! menselijk haar in mode en kunst (HAIR! human hair in fashion and art)

Start Date 20 February 2016
End Date 29 May 2016
Venue Centraal Museum
Location Utrecht, The Netherlands
Curator Ninke Bloemberg
Designer Niek Pulles and Harm Rensink
objects on plinths

The Centraal Museum presents HAAR!, a daring exhibition in which human hair as a material takes center stage. Hair can be made into beautiful hairstyles, but hair is also a great material for clothing, furniture and even embroidery. Virtually everything you see in the exhibition is made of human hair. Watch the video of the exhibition human hair We adore and abhor it, we reject it and take care of it down to the last detail: as human beings we maintain a complex relationship with (our) hair. With the exhibition we pay attention to this special relationship. Cross-border fashion designers and artists who use human hair as a material and source of inspiration participate. Body hair is incorporated into jewelry, is used for works of art and forms the basis for installations.

Never before has large-scale attention and research been conducted into the use of hair in fashion and visual art. That is remarkable, because it is a theme that is – literally – so close to the skin of people. The Centraal Museum is therefore presenting a major fashion exhibition about this phenomenon for the first time. The focus is mainly on hair as a statement, as an expression of identity. Male strength, female seduction: ‘her’ winds through history like a red thread.

In the fashion exhibition HER! works by (inter)national artists such as Julien d’Ys, Charlie LeMindu, Shoplifter, Zhu Tian, ​​Studio Swine, Adelle Lutz, Levi van Veluw, Helen Pynor, Jenine Sheroes, Masako Takahashi and many more. We also pay tribute to hairstylist Christiaan Houtenbos. The exhibition is curated by Ninke Bloemberg and the design is in the hands of Niek Pulles and Harm Rensink.

The Dutch Christiaan Houtenbos is one of the most in-demand hairstylists in the world. This Dutch hair artist has been cutting the hair of many celebrities for 50 years. From Brad Pitt to Blondie and from Doutzen Kroes to Lady GaGa. Christian cuts them all. The hairstylist became famous for the block head he gave Grace Jones. Characteristic of Christiaan’s method is that he sees it as a material with a mind of its own. According to him, she cannot be manipulated. When Christiaan isn’t flying all over the world to work for celebrities and big fashion houses, he can be found on the streets of New York. There he gives passers-by a new haircut for free.

In the exhibition HER! the museum pays tribute to him. Christiaan gives access to his extensive private archive for the first time. The museum has made a selection from over 150,000 digital photos, hundreds of newspaper clippings, video material and countless cigar boxes full of Polaroids.

Image credit Centraal Museum.