13. Sep 2024
12. Jan 2025

Grow it, show it!

A look at hair from Diane Arbus to TikTok

From Afro, locs, braids or cornrows to bob, beehive or taper, hair is an integral part of our everyday culture and offers unlimited design possibilities. How we choose to show or hide, grow or shave  our head, facial and body hair is an expression of our personality, but also of our affiliation to social, political, religious or cultural communities. We use hairstyles to communicate, optimise and conceal a part of our identity, to set ourselves apart or fit into a collective, and thus to send out messages – whether intentionally or unintentionally. In the everyday tension between intimacy and public representation, we use our hair to show our individuality, conformity, rebelliousness or solidarity.

The exhibition entitled Grow It, Show It! explores the historical, political and everyday cultural significance of hair through a wide range of historical and contemporary photographs, videos and film clips from art as well as fashion and social media. The comprehensive exhibition shows that hair is always a carrier of information. The way we wear our hair is not only determined by the pursuit of beauty ideals, but has always been politically and socially charged as an identity-forming feature, a ritual symbol of power, a spiritual material and a communicator of social status.

In its historical and popular science dimension, the exhibition explores the question of how representations of hair at the interface of art, fashion and advertising photography are not only the subject of the beauty industry, but also of queer-feminist, body-political and post-colonial discourses. At the same time, the exhibits dating from the 19th century to the present day shed light on the ways in which images of hair have consolidated and defined trends over the course of time.

With works of:
Hoda Afshar, Laura Aguilar, Diane Arbus, Ellen Auerbach, AWA Magazine, BALAM, Jürgen Baldiga, Barber Turko, Carina Brandes, BRAVO, Nakeya Brown, Tessica Brown, Julia Margaret Cameron, Jim Carrey, Chaumont–Zaerpour, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Rineke Dijkstra, Juan Pablo Echeverri, Anna Ehrenstein, Lotte Errell, Jason Evans, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Samuel Fosso, Pippa Garner, André Gelpke, Weronika Gęsicka, Camilo Godoy, Nan Goldin, Ulrich Görlich, Henriette Grindat, Carola von Groddeck, F. C. Gundlach, Johann Hinrich W. Hamann, Mona Hatoum, Florence Henri, Florian Hetz, David O. Hill & Robert Adamson, Thomas Hoepker, Ewald Hoinkis, Peter Hujar, Graciela Iturbide, Lebohang Kganye, Jens Klein, Peter Knapp, Herlinde Koelbl, Paul Kooiker, Anouk Kruithof, Andreas Langfeld, Alwin Lay, Zoe Leonard, Madame d’Ora, Mahmoud Manaa, Ana Mendieta, Sabelo Mlangeni, Suffo Moncloa, Marge Monko, Zanele Muholi, Thandiwe Muriu, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Helmut Newton, Satomi Nihongi, Nicholas Nixon, Fred Odede, Bubu Ogisi, Mobolaji Ogunrosoye, J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, Ulrike Ottinger, Helga Paris, Doris Quarella, Alfred A. Rau, Eugene Richards, ringl + pit, Roxana Rios, Torbjørn Rødland, Thomas Ruff, RuPaul, August Sander, Viviane Sassen, Max Scheler, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Lorna Simpson, Annegret Soltau, John Stezaker, Tabboo!, Hank Willis Thomas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Marie Tomanova, Tunga, Danielle Udogaranya, Dorothea von der Osten, William Wegman, Tom Wood, Yatreda, Leyla Yenirce, Sheung Yiu

Supported by

Logo e.on
Suffo Moncloa Gucci/The Face, 2021 © Suffo Studio

Suffo Moncloa
Gucci/The Face, 2021
Inkjet print, 118 x 86 cm
© Suffo Studio