After working and living together for a long time, Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter (*1975 Kenya, *1964 Germany) began signing their works together as a unit in 2005. Conceptually, their individual personalities dissolve into a miniature collective, in which the gender and origin of each is transferred to the other. Their works explore the role of skin colour and cultural origins, something also shaped by Mwangi’s experience of moving from Africa to Germany as a teenager. Mwangi studied with Ulrike Rosenbach at the Hochschule Bildende Künste (Academy of Fine Art and Design) in Saar, where Hutter also studied and still teaches today. JE
In this video performance, we see a split screen with the backs of two heads with short hair – one of a black woman and one of a white man. The two heads are slowly shaved, beginning with different patterns until both are finally completely bald. This double image refers, on the one hand, to the connotations of different hair styles from a gender and cultural point of view. On the other hand, these differences become nullified: from behind, all ‘faceless’ shaved heads look alike, regardless of gender, origin, skin colour and social status. The video thus reflects the self-awareness of the artistic duo, who see themselves as a unit striving to overcome the separation of different artistic personalities.