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Paola Elizabeth Mateo   I pull, detangle, twist, fluff, set and sew different textures and different colors of  hair, combing them into one piece as I pierce them with nails, penetrating each strand  with the expectation of society. I hang them on walls, force them into corners, wear them  and make them stand alone.   This series of work displays the various methods in which I use both artificial and  real hair to address the structural and systemic racism that originate within a post colonial  society and made its way into the home and minds of afro latinx. The work speaks to  various emotions in experiencing auto-phobia (hatred of oneself), racism within the latinx  community, confusion of origin and the stereotypical stigmas that follow the choice of not  conforming to eurocentric standards.  In my performance ‘Para ti pt.2’, I constructed a dress of real hair that I wore in  the Dominican Republic, Reading, Pennsylvania and New York. The purpose for  constructing this dress was to ridicule the idea of forcing my hair into a eurocentric state  that it is not naturally in.                                            


Paola Elizabeth Mateo     Image Context    1.Am I White Enough Now?  2017  Human hair, Acrylic hair, Kanekalon hair and Acrylic paint  14inx18inx77in  Hanging sculpture is a remnant from a performance where I poured white acrylic paint  over the entire surface until the jug was empty.    2.Untitled  2017  Copper, Hair, Nylon, Feather  8inx9inx15in    3.Titled Labels  2017  Hair, Plastic, Glass, Bamboo fiber  24inx6inx31in    4.Para ti pt.2  2016-2017  Hair, Cotton, Nylon  19inx15inx33in (size XLarge)  After constructing the hair dress, I then let my natural hair loose as I walked around and  invited people to touch my hair. Observing people’s hesitation to touch either the hair on  my body or the hair on my head.    5. I Am this Mix  2017  Kanekalon hair, Wood, Brass, Spandex/cotton  5ftx5inx7ft                           


Paola Elizabeth Mateo    

1.Am I White Enough Now? 2017  Human hair, Acrylic hair, Kanekalon hair and Acrylic paint  14inx18inx77in  Hanging sculpture is a remnant from a performance where I poured white acrylic paint  over the entire surface until the jug was empty.


Paola Elizabeth Mateo  

2.Untitled 2017  Copper, Hair, Nylon, Feather  8inx9inx15in 


Paola Elizabeth Mateo  


Paola Elizabeth Mateo  

4.Para ti pt.2 2016-2017  Hair, Cotton, Nylon  19inx15inx33in (size XLarge)  After constructing the hair dress, I then let my natural hair loose as I walked around and  invited people to touch my hair. Observing people’s hesitation to touch either the hair on  my body or the hair on my head. 


Paola Elizabeth Mateo  

5. I Am this Mix  2017  Kanekalon hair, Wood, Brass, Spandex/cotton  5ftx5inx7ft 

Profile for The New School

Paola Mateo  

Paola Mateo  

Profile for newschool