In the Fairfax press today, an opinion column about olive-skinned men and their beards. There might be some deeper point photographer Cherine Fahd is trying to make, but what that might be is very hard to discern. Consider these paragraphs:
Naturally, the first participants in the project were my two brothers, Kristan and Matthew. Matthew’s portrait in particular piqued my interest. The beard that made him look like a terrorist (in my parents’ terms) was also the beard that made him look like an urban hipster.
The contemporary male hipster is defined by his abundant designer beard, in the manner of a (well-groomed) lumberjack or bushranger. I’m intrigued by the entanglement of the hipster with the bearded jihadi who features with ever-increasing regularity in Western newspapers, television and Hollywood film.
Ms Fahd continues
I consciously embraced the association of hipster/jihadi in this project. The portraits deliberately exaggerate what the men’s faces have in common – the beard and a dark appearance.
There’s little else to look at in the portraits….
Go to the Australia Council’s “grants awarded” page and there is something far more interesting to look at: the notation that taxpayers underwrote Ms Fahd’s “not much to look at” portraits of brothers and others with a $27,310 grant. Click on the image below to see the details of the Australia Council’s largesse, including a previous payment of $20,000 for “new work, mid-career”.