Walls, Windows, and Doors – OH MY! (New Mexico)

In keeping with the (unintended) photographic theme of my sabbatical days, here’s a post of… well… walls, windows, and doors. For some reason, I couldn’t keep my camera off them during my sabbatical travels in Nepal and France (photos still to come on the blog), and my time in New Mexico was no exception. I hope you enjoy them…

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And a few other favorite photos from Santa Fe that haven’t yet made it onto the blog…


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5 thoughts on “Walls, Windows, and Doors – OH MY! (New Mexico)

  1. ISRAEL PULSEישראל פולס
    i thought that this might interest youl jeff shapiro

    A view from the ”Hair Raising” exhibit at Hachava Gallery in Holon, Israel, July 4, 2015. (photo by Yuval Avivi)

    Israel’s hair-raising history
    The stated goal of the exhibit “Hair Raising” at the Hachava Gallery in Holon is to examine the use of human hair as a raw material. Among the participants is the Studio Swine initiative — a British-Japanese collaboration that through the film “Hair Highway” describes an astounding socio-economic phenomenon. “The studio staff spent five months in China, which is the biggest importer of hair in the world and the biggest exporter of wood. They looked for a way to end the wasteful and environmentally unfriendly system of import and export, and instead to use local products as raw materials,” says Tamara Wolman, who, with Omri Shapira, curated the exhibit, which includes the work of 11 artists and designers from Israel and around the world.

    Summary⎙ Print The Jewish experience involving hair, inundated with symbols from the biblical Samson to the trauma of the Holocaust and including young men’s tradition of shaving their heads upon recruitment to the IDF, is now moving toward an Israeli-global trend when it comes to the matter.
    Author Yuval AviviPosted August 5, 2015
    TranslatorAviva Arad
    For the exhibit, Studio Swine created a collection of everyday utilitarian tools: combs, boxes and even mirrors. They look like they’re made of wood, but they’re actually made of hair.

    Wolman says Israelis’ reactions to the exhibit, located in the middle of an industrial zone, have been mixed. It seems that Israelis have a hard time with hair, at least when it’s detached from the body. “Yes, there’s a recoiling from hair because of a psychological-associative factor,” she says, “but it’s good. It opens up the discussion to the question of what happens when you use hair as a raw material, from the standpoint of the observer and the creator. There were visitors who were disgusted at works where hair was really exposed, who refused to touch them. As far as they were concerned, they don’t know where the hair came from, what person it belonged to.”

    Wolman says these reactions accompanied her work on the exhibit from the very start, and have actually become a central part of it. Visitors see paintbrushes made from human hair, jewelry made out of hair and the like. Wolman says that “while the exhibit includes 11 [sets of] works, there should be a 12th work: the documentation of visitors’ reactions — our recoiling at someone else’s bodily products.”

    According to the curators of the exhibit, “Hair carries a symbolic meaning in each and every society or culture around the world, signifying social status, identity, gender, ethnic origin or level of power. Hair is an element of courtship and marriage ceremonies, mourning ceremonies and religious rituals. It is found in countercultures as a means of personal expression as well as a means of communication between people.”

    In Israel it seems the discussion of hair is especially loaded with meaning: There are the biblical stories about Samson the hero, whose power was located in his long hair, and taken from him when it was cut, and of Absalom, who also had abundant beautiful hair that brought about his death when he got caught in tree branches as he fled his pursuers who got hold of him. There is the history of the Holocaust, where shaved hair was connected with the Jewish victims in concentration camps; and the militaristic society in Israel, where shaving one’s hair before recruitment to the Israel Defense Forces is considered a male rite of passage.

    In a long essay dealing with hairstyles in the Jewish-Israeli world, professor Oz Almog, one of Israel’s leading sociologists, writes, “The shearing of recruited men’s hair at the induction center has turned to an important rite of passage in Israel — an expression of the young Israeli’s acceptance of the responsibilities of Zionism and his becoming a cog in the military machine.”

    Shoshana-Rose Marzel, a researcher of fashion at the Bezalel Art and Design Academy and Zefat Academic College, notes that it was actually the Nazis who tried to do what stands at the basis of the exhibit: “After all it was the Nazis who used Jewish hair to make objects and to weave rugs,” she tells Al-Monitor.

    Marzel says, “Shaving hair in Israel is seen as proof of manliness. True, the ultra-Orthodox use hair as a strong gender marker; women cover their hair, men often shave their heads and wear sidelocks — in addition to a beard. But in secular Israeli society shaving hair is what creates the look of a real man. You’ll see lots of people who work in the security industry with this look. The new image of the muscular shaved-head Israeli distanced the memory of the shaved Holocaust survivors or skinhead Nazis.”

    The works of the Israeli participants in the exhibit support this claim. According to Wolman, “Most of the artists didn’t relate to the Holocaust. Their treatment of hair was not very local, but universal. Some of the artists tried to completely ignore any associations, and related to hair as a raw material free of any meaning. In my opinion that’s impossible, because the viewer brings his own baggage and associations to it.”

    Almog notes in his article that in the first years of the State of Israel, the pressure to erase differences between soldiers [between those born in Israel and the new immigrants], as well as the terrible hygienic conditions, led to the shaving of hair and very short haircuts. “The hairstyle was then a health imperative more than an aesthetic imperative,” he explains, “and it was because of the field conditions and the crowding in the transit camps and the tent encampments. But in the 1960s, as Israeli society became economically balanced, inspiration from the American youth revolution and the influence of Europe arrived here.”

    Marzel agrees, and she thinks this trend continues today. “It’s not only youth rebellion, it’s also very much a demand for freedom. Since 2000 you see how Israelis want to feel like a part of the global culture. They travel more and adopt trends, not just from the West, but also from the East. Today you’ll see men with ponytails, men who use hairbands, men who gather their hair in buns, men with long dreadlocks.”

    It may be that the Israeli disgust with hair, as expressed in reactions to the exhibit, has become dissociated from its clear connection to power and weak spots in the Bible, the connection to violence and victimhood in the Holocaust or the connection to uniformity and the melting pot in the army.

    In the invitation to the exhibit, the curators wrote, “We are excited by hair when it’s attached to the body and disgusted by it when it’s detached from it.” Marzel says, “In every human society, whatever is understood as bodily secretions is considered disgusting, including nails and hair. It’s taboo.”

    Thus, just as Israeli artists try to be global and to avoid revisiting the sociological associations unique to Israel, the recoiling of viewers to the exhibit perhaps is less connected to the unique Israeli context and more connected to the disgust of other societies.

    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/07/israel-holocaust-hair-samson-museum-traditions-artist.html#ixzz3i3Wx8M1K

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