Distortion

I am interested in exploring distortion of the human body. As a society, we are very conditioned as far as what we expect to see when it comes to the body portrayed in images. I’m referring not only to issues of weight and beauty, but also of the physical capabilities of the body. Any image that contains a figure draws a certain connection and response from the viewer, and when the body is portrayed in strange ways, the reaction becomes even stronger. This can be seen in the work of Andre Kertesz, one of the earliest photographers to distort the human body to such an extent that only small parts of it were still recognizable. The strange disconnect that occurs as a result places the viewer in a sort of limbo between relating to the body seen and knowing something is not right. Rather than using blatant post processing to change the reality of what the body can do, I plan to work with contortionists who defy the commonly accepted belief of what the body can do. I want to photograph these contorted figures in everyday situations, pushing the ability of the viewer to relate, but these figures will be doing everyday things with bodies bent in ways that will make the viewer say, “This can’t possibly be real”. I want to make the viewer question how much of what they are seeing is actually possible, and explore how displaying a human body to a person who cannot replicate its position affects said person’s ability to accept it as real. I would like to present my images as large prints to really confront my viewers with these irregularities.

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