the arts

Shear Faith

'Haircuts by Children' asks you to trust your coif to kids with scissors

By Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Nov. 11, 2011

Shear Faith

What was it Lily Tomlin said about turning 40? "I don't know whether I feel more like four 10-year-olds or 10 4-year-olds." Something like that, I'm sure, although it's been a while since I first read it when I turned 40. I'm almost 50 now, and, regardless of what I feel more like, I'm going to have my hair cut by a 10-year-old I've never met.

This tonsorial event is called Haircuts by Children. It may seem kind of strange, this being an East Austin Studio Tour thing – until you learn that the project's presented in conjunction with those performative envelope-pushers of Fusebox, the festival that can't seem to content itself with a single month but must continue fomenting creative experience whenever it can throughout the year.

Fusebox, Peacock Salon, Pecan Springs Elementary, and Norman Elementary School are welcomed by EAST to present this interactive happening. Not interactive in any cybery computer sense, but in the real-life sense of elementary-school kids with sharp scissors flashing all around your head until they've shorn you of, well, let's hope it's not your dignity.

We're assured that it won't be – that, in accordance with the conception of the piece by Canadian performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex, these youngsters have received a full week of training with professional artists and hairstylists. These kids will operate every aspect of the salon: booking appointments, cutting your hair, cleaning the place up, and selling lemonade and/or hot chocolate to raise money.

"This is a performance about wild haircuts, power, and trust," the press release tells us. (Yeah, press release, you ain't kidding.) I'll be going, trustfully, under the shears as part of the Art Night Austin preview on Nov. 10. You, if you want to be part of this performance, with various friends and neighbors looking on while some tyro of a fifth-grader takes metal blades to your crowning glory in a fancy salon, can do it within these parameters: Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13, noon-4pm. To make an appointment, call 800-3066 or visit www.fuseboxfestival.com.

Download the East Austin Studio Tour map.

write a letter