Keywords: experimental documentary, object-making, film and video installations, sculpture, sculptural installations, site-specific installations, public art, performance, hair-products sculpture, beauty, aging, family, history, migration, undocumented workers, work and play.

Unisex is a public art project mapping the diverse population of Corona, Queens as expressed through the voices and daily activities of neighborhood barbers, stylists, and clients. Salons and barbershops have long served as informal settings for social networking. The dynamic between stylist and client can be similar to therapy, requiring trust and intimacy. Lin + Lam explore this personal/public space, engaging with issues important to local residents: beauty, aging, family, history, migration, work and play.

The three-channel video installation uses a two-way mirror to superimpose viewers' own reflections with close-ups of stylists and barbers at work, illuminating both the universality and racial and gender-specificity of this cultural arena. The salon atmosphere is heightened by delicate, translucent sculptures made of hair gel and permanent end papers in the shape of the tools of the trade: spray bottle, mirror, hair dryer, and clippers.

Throughout the summer, Lin + Lam offered free haircuts at street fairs as a means of connecting with the community. Interactions between the artists and the people of Corona are documented in videos that played at local salons and shops. Narration drawn from interviews highlights the history of hair grooming as it evolved through socio-economic shifts in the area.

























Unisex

2008

3-channel video installation with perm end paper, hair gel, two-way mirrors, three monitors, three DVD players, and speakers

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