Karin Stack photographs the progression of baldness to a full head of hair, after the diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent treatment of chemotherapy.
‘How does an artist respond to a body made unfamiliar and out of control? I produced Hair Stories after my 1998 cancer diagnosis. From the chaotic realm of illness and uncertainty, I produced a post-chemotherapy chronicle of hair growth through weekly photographs. The ordered structure of the installation, which takes the form of several horizontal timelines, challenges the disorder confronted. Not without humor, these life-size photographic self-portraits follow my progress from bald to haired. Using the ordered language of minimalism and scientific documentation, I examine the steady resumption of natural processes and the surprise of new hair growth. The photographs are made by scanning 35 mm negatives and digitally printing the images to control format and layout and to overlay an additional system of order, control and technology. This project began as a flipbook. Sequential hair images are combined with stories that explore hair in the context of private and pivotal moments in my personal history, including diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. This installation displays hair images with an accompanying narrative voiceover.’
– Karin Stack