Gracious in Defeat (reprise)
Performance by Bugu Somet
OpenFrameworks, Kinect, video
What can performance and computation tell us about the rituals and politics of hair?
Gracious in Defeat (reprise) is a performance about obsession and mourning. Even hair deserves to be grieved. Even its death is haunting.
This piece is part of a series of sketches called Zulf is Beloved, which are experiments to address hair loss, hair removal, and how hair manifests and performs gender and sexuality for an Iranian-American femme. The word for hair in Farsi is 'zulf', used, not in ordinary conversation, rather in love poetry to praise the beloved's hair. Or to describe hair that is inappropriately displayed. Seduction or shame. The Persia of Qajar celebrated the fluidity of gender and sexuality. Westernization removed hair from the body to equate with modernity, and removed femininity from the male land and the male sun. I gave hair back to Qajar, for what was once lost into otherness is now found in the future perfect.