Barbershop: The Art of Queer Failure embraces the ethos of queer failure as a productive way of proposing alternatives rather than adhering to traditions of barbershops which under the guise of giving haircuts often reinforce notion about heteropatriarchal masculinity.
Barbershop: The Art of Queer Failure, fails to reinforce masculinity and instead gives any barbershop style haircut to anyone of any gender who is willing to engage in an act of queer world-making.
IN exchange for a queer failure haircut participants agree to engage in an act of queer world making before their haircut grows out. The exchange associated with your haircut will be negotiated before or during your haircut. Some suggested acts of queer world-making in exchange for your hair cut can be found posted in the installation.
Haircuts will be given by artist the artist, Ace Lehner who is not a trained barber but who has been cutting hair outside of sanctioned barber channels for over a decade. hence part of the ethos of queer failure.
Failure has been part of queerness since the terms' reclamation in the 1980s. Queerness as identity and method fails to perform in ways that mainstream culture encourages. Queers fail to perform normatively when it comes to romantic partners, sexualities, gender identities, family structures, aesthetics, world making, and much more. Queer and queerness fail on purpose to be normative and instead throw norms, essentialism, and givens into question. Queers and queerness fail on purpose as a means of creating other possibilities.
This poster is hand drawn and then screen printed in the style of iconic barbershop posters, but instead of showcasing various versions of heteropatriarchal, cisnormative, masculinity masquerading as haircuts this poster images queer and trans culture producers, artists and scholars of various sexual and gender orientations that all have short, barbered hairstyles. The poster is for sale and part of the proceeds go to the Transgender Law Center, and the rest goes to helping fund this project.