About a year ago, Diana Chire invited some friends to her London studio to watch her have her hair buzzed off. The experience proved eye-opening for the Egyptian-born Ethiopian-British artist. “You’re taught growing up as a black girl that having European hair is attractive and that your hair isn’t okay, so you get it straightened. I think that’s crap,” she says. “The moment I shaved off my hair, I let go of all the parts of me I had rejected in my natural state.” It also spawned a one-day performance that will be part of the forthcoming group exhibition “Touch Sensitive,” at London's Guest Projects from March 21 - 26. “I'm making a hair manifesto,” declares Chire, who will compose a message using the locks she sheds.
Chire, 30, first became interested in performance art as a student at Westminster University. She stumbled upon a book about '60s and '70s era female performance artists and it struck a chord.
“I became obsessed with using myself and my body as a medium,” she says.