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Monica Rezman - Woolgathering




Through the suggestive motif of hair, Monica Rezman explores conceptions of femininity, beauty, and the body. Hair, in her drawings and photographs, is always either severed from its human subject or fully engulfing her, producing a visceral response that verges on the uncanny-that aesthetic emotion whereby something deeply familiar is experienced as foreign and strange. Hair, a most intimate and familiar material, becomes alien and uncomfortable when seen in isolation or in unnaturally copious amounts.

In meticulous, trompe-l'oeil charcoal drawings, clumps of tangled, dark strands are shown pinned like scientific specimens against sterile white backgrounds upon which they cast delicate shadows. Uncanny effects are often produced when one is unable to distinguish between the real and the imaginary, a confusion which arises upon first encountering these drawings.

Rezman became fascinated by hairpieces as objects of adornment, a context that she explores further in her photographs. While the drawings are concrete and realistic, the photographs become fantastical and surreal through drawn-in additions of hair. A sprite-like young girl leaps and prances with heaps of hair piled atop her head, its snarled masses flying wildly through the air. Rather than appearing heavy and constricting, these monumental wigs seem a source of freedom and play.

(Excerpted from the catalog essay by Antonia Pocock)