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La Biennale di Venezia

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Textural Threshold Hair Salon: Dreadlock

  • TUE - SUN
    20/05 > 30/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/10 > 26/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Felecia Davis (Michigan, USA, 1959)
lives and works in State College, USA


Forming a space between two words, ‘dreadlock’ is a word of uncertain etymology. For English speakers, this is clearly a portmanteau, two words making one. Dread, fear, anxiety about the future, but also awe or reverence. And the word ‘loc’, Germanic in origin, which refers to a curl or strand of a person’s hair that curls together, or the property of matted hair, tangled beyond untangling, knotted forever.
This installation roves from knowledge and language that the weaving hand knows into computational and digital knowledge systems. There are experiments with locking techniques related to felting in textile practice and digital combing/sorting to make a hybrid threshold. The digital threshold space in the installation uses machine learning trained on a designed database of global hair textures. The physical threshold is a knitted isacord passage made of felted dreadlocked material.


Technical collaborators
Lee Washesky (RA), Huijuan Xu, Shu Zhao, Matt Dembiczak, Andrew Hieronymi, SatQ. srl (Exhibition Construction), Werner Bacciu (Exhibition Construction)
Ian Danner, Daniel Escobar, Aysan Jafarzadeh, Hiranshi Patel, Christina Mock, Nathalie Vargas, Katherine Taylor
With the additional support of
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Pennsylvania State University College of Arts and Architecture; College of Arts and Architecture Research and Creative Activity Grant In Racial Justice, Anti-Discrimination, and Democratic Practices; The Stuckeman School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Graphic Design; The Department of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University; The Stuckeman Center for Design Computing; The Architect’s Newspaper; The Foundation for Contemporary Art

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura