Carol Neiger

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Waiting for Pedro, 19.5 x 23.5 x 6 in., Lithograph, interactive art box, magnetic wand, iron fillings

This is an interactive lithograph and art box series using a magnetic wand and iron filings about the “attraction” of acomoclitism (A preference for hairless genitals) culturally and in today’s society. Why are we so obsessed with body hair? Where do the patterns and shapes we create derive from?

Hair removal has been recorded throughout history. The ancient Egyptians removed hair with wax and honey. In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair is considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries. In Islam, this is known as an act of Fitrah. Evidence of pubic hair removal in ancient India dates back to 4000 to 3000 BC. Many cultures have a rich history and meaning behind hair removal. This playful study, with a nod to the pop culture toy “Wooly Willy” invites interactive art as the viewer becomes an artist as they arrange the “hair” under the glass frame using the magnetic wand, also encouraging them to think about this provocative subject.

Ultimately, we are in charge of our own bodies, but some feminists look down on hair removal while others consider it empowering. This series let’s us play with the wand, becoming powerful manipulators of hair art-making our own decisions as we decorate–or remove hair from these two provocative women who represent cultures where hair removal was prevalent.