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find: Visual Arts The Netherlands

Anne Verhoijsen   visual artist, performance art,
The Netherlands

Showing Almost Everything, 2000

About the performance
In the morning she shaved her head, a usual activity for Anne who has shaven her head for a number of years now. Her hair does not grow normally, and so she decided to regularly shave it all off. This condition and her response to it have made her conscious about having a head of hair. She wanted to make a performance which would make those with normal hair growth - as she was when she was younger - more conscious about their own hair.

She sat in the middle of a group of fellow art students with her eyes closed and invited each to write with their finger onto her shaven scalp.

In a sense this performance was a way of feeling those words, or feeling what people thought when they saw her shaven head. In another sense it was about vulnerability and trust. Those who ran their fingers over her head are touching a part of the body that is usually covered in hair and they are sharing something of themselves in the process. What Anne remembers most about the performance was the way people touched her scalp, sometimes stroking, sometimes as direct movements guided by the goal of writing. Other times feeling the sharpness of a fingernail evoked other sensations. For her it was an experiment in using her scalp, a part of her body that is often noticed or stared at by people, as a sensory organ. As way to feel another's thoughts.

"I wanted others to have contact with my baldness and in turn to become more aware of their own hair."

De Tijdklok (The time piece) consists of a collection of old preserving jars filled with used syringes and old watches. The syringes have been used by people whose bodies function abnormally or not to their satisfaction, hence serving as symbols for the vulnerability of living. The old watches are reminders of time ticking by. The piece is about our bodily vulnerability. "I continue to collect the syringes and the watches because 'Time' keeps me on my toes."

See more art at:

  • Illustration: Showing Almost Everything, Arts Dialogue, June 2000

Arts Dialogue, Dintel 20, NL 7333 MC, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands