BRAID/WORK is a collaborative project between Sarah Beth Woods and professional hair braider Fatimata Traore that investigates the history and aesthetics of braiding culture as well as identity, adornment, and skilled labor through a series of community engaged events.The material components of this project are staged tableau photographs and hair sculptures that skillfully weave reality and fiction, using Woods' and Traore's working relationship as a point of departure.
"Woods admits a fascination with the boundaries between perceptions of the artificial and the natural. It is at these intersections that she begins her collaboration with Traore. But their work concerns more than just a distinction between, say, real and fake hair, or real and fake gold; it explores the technological artifice of gender and the gestural iteration of race. Their work challenges the assumption of biologically constructed identities." (Mailee Hung, DailyServing, October 13th 2016)
Exhibition: Rootwork Gallery, Chicago IL July-August 2016.
Photography: Cecil McDonald Jr.