Fractured Hairline is part of Azza Zein’s continued research into ways to revalue invisible labour and care through the materiality of domestic space. Zein’s practice locates the displaced or migrant entity – be it human or non-human – as a by-product of economic conditions. The intimate presence of hair all around her apartment during the lockdown drew her attention to the material. Hair, in all its forms, resembled the invisible condition of a mother and a migrant.
The video constructs a ficto-narrative around hair as residue of domestic work. The recited text draws on literary approaches to hair and residue. Dissolving the dichotomy between the ‘material’ and the ‘symbolic’, the writing draws on Franz Kafka’s The Cares of a Family Man and Salman Rushdie’s The Prophet’s Hair. While inspired by the Arabic storytelling tradition and miniature painting aesthetics, the fast cuts and reading echo the interrupted tempo of contemporary parenting and multitasking against the slow temporality of care.
Azza Zein is a Beirut-born and Melbourne-based artist. She recently completed a Master in Fine Arts at the Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne. Her research explores how artworks can comment on the dematerialisation of the economy and offer a revaluation of the invisibility of labour. She has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in artist-run spaces in Melbourne and participated in art residencies in Argentina and India. Azza was recently selected to participate in the Labour art residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico. Azza is a member of IPCS. http://azzazein.com