Photography Roger Weiss’s Human Dilatations

Roger Weiss’s Human Dilatations

Giorgia Massari

Looking at Roger Weiss‘s works from the series “Human Dilatations,” the eye is confronted with images of sculpted bodies distorted and capable of provoking a certain disorientation that, consequently, stimulates the viewer to investigate and analyze the image in detail, in search of an explanation. The images produced by the Swiss photographer – but trained in Italy, at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera – appear surreal; the bodies follow a vertical extension, and physicality is exaggerated in proportions.

Roger Weiss |
The Hug th020317_225ph from the Human Dilatations series, 2017. ©Roger Weiss

Roger Weiss embarks on a path aimed at identifying a contemporary anthropic identity, unveiling the archetypal form of man through the selection of specific subjects – conventionally considered “beautiful” – disturbing their image. The result is other forms, or rather, distorted images of “perfect” human bodies that are elongated and dilated here. The low perspective contributes to highlighting the body rather than the face, which appears diminished. In this way, Weiss highlights the idea that the contemporary body, conceived solely as an aesthetic object, prevails over the mind and its thoughts. Man is thus deprived of the power of the mind and physical perfection, the two elements obsessively sought after by contemporaneity.

The Hug th200322_326ph from the Human Dilatations series, 2022. ©Roger Weiss

What is even more interesting lies in Roger Weiss’s process, which employs the technique of stitching – literally sewing – the assembly of multiple photographic images taken in the same setting with the aim of obtaining a single image. The assembly of each work involves the merging of several hundred photographic shots, even reaching eight hundred, thus achieving an extremely high level of micro-detail. Weiss captures macro shots of different parts of the models’ bodies, intending to highlight the often “hidden” and considered imperfect textures, such as skin folds, hair, stretch marks, and more. Subsequently, he combines the different shots, producing a unique image printed at human scale. The strong impact is also dictated by the choice of format, which aims to create an even closer relationship between the image of the body and the viewer’s body. The presence of yellow dots scattered on the subjects’ bodies is part of the creative process and is essential for Weiss in capturing the macro shots. The photographer’s decision to maintain the dots even in the post-production phase highlights the intention to reveal the truth without resorting to retouching.

With the series “Human Dilatations,” branching into “Suspension,” “Monolith,” and “The Hug,” Roger Weiss places the viewer in front of a disturbing alteration of those “perfect” bodies to which we are subjected daily, provoking a certain intriguing disgust.

fh040421_111ph from the Flat Humans series, 2021. ©Roger Weiss

Courtesy Roger Weiss

Written by Giorgia Massari
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