Dias & Riedweg

Dias & Riedweg: Haarwerk, 2018
Courtesy the artists


As a social hub, the salon experienced its historical heyday in the transitional phase from courtly to bourgeois culture. Today, many a hairdressing salon in Hamburg’s St. Georg district takes up the social function of these predecessors – here, in venues named “German Cut” or “Bezim Berber,” the post-migrant neighborhood is groomed and styled. Whereas the classic bourgeois salons were gatherings often run by women, “Haarwerk” shows a man’s world in which various fates intersect. The camera, supported by a thousand mirrors, closes in on the congress between skin, hair, blade and scissors, which is as tender as it is painful, and always skillfully choreographed. Vulnerability is a theme, as is passivity – all the things one has to endure in order to conform to the ideal self…. All too much veneration for bare life, however, is scared away by the unsentimental, even brutal, grip of the barbers.