Dark and Lovely
Dark and Lovely explores the origins and persistence of deeply engrained stigmas that span generations of men and women in America.
A considerably high number of African American women use hair relaxer, Dark and Lovely being the top sold in America. The same number of people consume products due to a sense of tradition or obligation.
The mantra “Sentiment Hinders Function” conveys lingering paradigms that are no longer valid for modern times. When the things we buy and use become irrelevant we continue to cling to them in order to preserve feelings associated with sentimental often times generational traditions.
We make reference to the brand Dark and Lovely, which is a subsidiary of Soft Sheen Carson that in turn is owned by L’ORéal, a fortune global 500 ranked company. African American women are the highest consumers of this product and use it to chemically alter their hair, masking their ethnicity by mimicking fabricated ideas of beauty.
Corporations through their advertising use dying standards to sell the same ideas. The type family used in Dark and Lovely is Akzidenz Grotesk, the source font to Helvetica. There exists a sentimental reliance on this font, which stifles innovative evolutionary shifts. This type family is often used when referencing legal jargon and in consumer terms and conditions.
People, corporations, and influential trends contribute to the perpetuation of irrelevant rituals but they do not create them. Ignorant traditions based in perceived sentimentality do. This exhibition explores the ideas that create our habitual self-destruction.
-April Bey and Logan Bell