All about time






All about time
2020

María Ignacia Walker works with hairs as if they were messy threads to be shaped, dominated and emphasized, ultimately rethinking and giving new meaning to this organic structure. Finding hairs that have been detached from their owners inevitably causes feelings of disgust or repulsion, which is why we discard or hide them. In contrast, the artist gathers, organizes and weaves them into new shapes, in this particular case, into a sort of organic cloak.

In All about time, the artist wove a mask with human hair, a bodysuit and a self-portrait sketchbook. As the collected hair came from people who sent whatever they shed or cut, their rational and irrational losses are found in these pieces, which redefine shedding and loss by finding a new shape in the objects Walker created, framed in these times of devastation and isolation. Weaving can also be interpreted as a symbol of a traditionally female ritual, a place to escape oneself, much like Penelope did with her commitments. It’s a sensible excuse to become alienated from time and find a cure, an answer, a reason to postpone what we don’t want to confront yet, or ignore answers we don't really want to know. It’s a healing solution to everything mandatory quarantine has entailed.

Each strand of hair was woven by the artist to create a mask and bodysuit as a way of helping her seek shelter from the outside world. Like so, the pieces act as protecting shields that shrouds her physical and psychological nakedness, allowing her to isolate herself, to escape society and create a new refuge through a new ritual that makes her feel safe, and helps her cope with the uncertainty of each morning. The sketchbook, in turn, she made out of hair she naturally shed. As a way of keeping a sort of journal, she interpreted, through the portraits and drawings, parts of her own body, reflecting what she felt during the pandemic.



Text

Elisa Massardo

Materials

human hair / gold plated thread

Photographs

Sejla Ljudovic / Filippo Romanelli