Saturday, December 9, 2023 from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
Journey to Softness (The Barbershop Series) is a performance facilitated by Brian Ellison that begins with the artist receiving a haircut by a local barber in the middle of the gallery space. Brian models the platonic intimacy between Black men that is organically cultivated in the barber shops of his childhood. Following Brian’s haircut, members of the community are invited to sit in the barber chair and receive the same service, free of charge. “In the barber shop, Black men are handled with care,” Brian explains, “In this sacred space, Black men get to be delicate.”
Journey to Softness is a living testament of how the seemingly mundane tasks of Black culture are actually foundational ritualistic practices that–when placed in a traditional “white cube” gallery space–offer an alternative idea of what an artistic practice looks like.