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Zeit, 2020

Hair, raffia strands, horsetail, felt, wool, cable straps

Silvina Der Meguerditchian’s installation, Zeit, delves into the intimate and public dimensions of hair, an entity that persists even beyond death and carries our unique genetic code. In this intricate exploration, hair becomes a poignant symbol for identity, rooted in various cultures and philosophies, reflecting both individual memory and shared experiences.


In Northern Europe, for instance, hair signified memory and mourning, and from the eighth to the late fourteenth century, hair ribbons of the deceased were crafted into jewellery as an offering, thereby preserving the memory of the departed. In another vein, the Navajo faith holds hair as a reflection of one’s thoughts, with older thoughts residing at the ends of the longest strands, and new thoughts closer to the scalp. These intersections amplify the exhibit’s theme of “home” as hair across different cultures, embodying the intimate connections we make, and serving as a bridge between the personal and the collective, the familial and the communal.


Der Meguerditchian’s installations resonate with multiple layers of meaning, touching upon the duality of hair as both a personal identifier and a collective symbol. By intertwining references from her Armenian heritage, where braided hair was a testament to tradition, with her experiences in Spain and Austria by way of mourning wreaths made of human hair, she beautifully intersects the theme of “hope”. The artist’s works radiate an aspirational undertone that seek to redefine and reclaim identity amidst the challenges of displacement and cultural convergence.

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