Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Hair...How Dare I!!!

Apologies for this late post and aside falling ill and struggling to settle on a space for my show, I am happy to announce that the exhibition will open in November 2014 at the Whitespace located on Raymond Njoku off Awolowo way Ikoyi Lagos.
So here is the next recording from February of 2014.

20th Feb 2014
Due to the lack of information available on Ayie( My father's mother), her absence creates room for a lot of possibilities in the work itself but one must tread carefully not to get out of focus in the midst of having too many options. 

It has become like a play ground where a lot can be assumed, names, faces, events, if i were a writer, there would be so many ways the story could be told, all I would need are words. But how do I make up for these in art?

But for this first part of the project that I see expanding into different channels, I think its important that i focus on a certain person or at least create a LINEAR TRAJECTORY, where does it start, so Ayie is that beginning.

I could focus on Ayie or Elena (another name I hear), then me and then a broader view of women through history, whats the connection... There may exist similarities but that’s a lot to deal with and nothing will be in focus... too broad...

There are many different levels to this project and future projects are already evolving especially if I am able to find a specific beginning.

So what do I really want?? The primary reason for this project is to show where I am coming from as regards this theme of hair which I have explored for the past few years. Also it must show how society forced me to confront my history through a simple but powerful question “Is this your hair?” hearing that question everyday for many years will do something to you and it is where I am now, searching for the answer to the question that usually follows “where are you from?

untitled: Collage drawing on tracing paper: 2014 : Taiye Idahor

The crave for HAIR in Lagos...

I have lived in Lagos all my life and women are just in love with their hair and other women’s hair, so it comes with no surprise when I become the topic of discussion when I am in gatherings. Observe how women are spending serious money and time and more time on their hair and here i am having it for free... how dare I! 
Who says skin colour or hair texture  doesn't matter, lies you tell!!... the politics thatbe have re-branded! MASS MEDIA!!
I think beauty is another form of colonization... yes I do!

For many years I was ignorant about the question and I was never bothered after all I never knew her neither did my father and the only person who did (or least that I’m sure knew her) was my grandfather who died in August of 1972 before I was even born.

Ayie’s story is set in the colonial time...
Through this project it will reflect a broader picture of how society directs our minds, one learns what rejection and pressure means.

The crave for beauty, how society wants you to look a certain way. The same way repetition plays a major influence on the minds of people which is what advertising does and commercialism, I reuse this method of repetition to remain a memory in people’s mind. And this originally came from the idea of reincarnation, a belief that is strong with the Benin people and of which my parents believe in. My brother is called Babatunde and although I am Taiye, not a name that symbolises reincarnation, my father believes I am a reincarnation of his mother, and even still my mother says I am a reincarnation of someone else. 

Multiplicity has set in... being several people all in one!


  1. I still remember the first day you arrived at F.G.G.C Benin, you and your lovely twin, Kehinde...we stood in awe...I, like so many others, also asked you, "is this your hair???" is something that is more understood by our elders, those who lived in a time when tradition prevailed...old laws and customs that our young "social media attuned minds" may never be able to grasp...*sighs*...