Beauty Parlour / Verzauberung

Concept and Design: Dominic Huber / Humboldt LAB, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem

The installation, by Dominic Huber, was created in collaboration with Paola Ivanov, Andrea Rostásy, Jasmin Mahazi and Maimuna Difini. In realising "Enchantment / Beauty Parlour" Dominic Huber worked together with Ute Freitag (artistic assistant/ set builder), Marianne Schwarzbach (set design assistant), Lara Körte (voice, stand-in video), Georg Werner (controls, programming), Knut Jensen (sound design), and Sven Nichterlein (lighting)

As "strangers" and "guests" (Kiswahili: wageni) to the experimental installation "Enchantment / Beauty Parlour," visitors become an integral part of the mise-en-scène. They become immersed in an environment that is unknown to most of them: the production of female beauty and the weddings on the Swahili coast of East Africa. The Swahili aesthetic combines "inner" and "outer," spiritual and physical beauty and appeals to all the senses synaesthetically.

Can a sense of enchantment be successfully recreated by an immersion in scents, music, colors, shine, touch and movement, as the effect of beauty is described in Mombasa, Lamu or Zanzibar?