Shaw & Stern III

In the summer of 2015 Miriam visited Mass MOCA and saw an exhibition by Jim Shaw. Shaw fabricated wigs for several pieces, outrageous wigs that appeared in paintings and sculptures. Miriam “collaborated” with Jim Shaw using photos of his work with images from an old series she had done before. Shaw uses wigs as symbols of authority and wealth worn throughout European history. For Miriam the transformation of who we are when we wear wigs not only changes our faces but goes much deeper. In the original series she explored how wigs and clothing (worn by religious women as a sign of modesty) change not only a woman’s appearance but also her personality, self-conception, and world view. These more extreme images of women in wigs and weird hairdos add elements of humor, fright, fun, and the ridiculous. However, the questions Miriam raised years ago still resonate. What do these hairdos hide or disclose about the women who wear them?