End-of-Summer Photo Projects in Celebration of the Human Body
It’s August, folks. Yup, that means: end of summer. And Olympics.
Instead of boo-hooing our puny, non-Olympic abilities, the waning light, and the impending return to work and school, we’ve taken a cue from the astonishing Olympic bodies we’ve been watching all month.
We present to you: the jaw-dropping, body-photography roundup. It’ll make you celebrate all that our human bodies can do: we can flip and balance (some on a 4″ beam), squish, hide, shrink, stack. We can imagine and we can take pictures.
So, go ahead, check out these awe-inspiring projects.
We promise they’ll make you want to get off your butt.
Squeeze, Stack, Squish: Contortion Photography
We all have to squeeze to fit somewhere: the bathtub, the elevator, the airplane window seat.
But these guys are doing it for fun.
Art director Willi Dorner and photographer Lisa Rastl coordinate the stacking and squishing of their willing models in various urban spaces of Vienna: alleyways, closets, lawns, playgrounds.
Their two projects, “Hangende Garten,” and “Bodies in Urban Spaces,” not only question our notions of space and architecture and the way we humans interact with them, they’re inspiring the contortionist in us.
HOW TO DO IT:
Bribe your flexible friends, squeeze them in the pantry, your three-foot “yard,” your tiny stall shower. Colorful clothes differentiate them. Hiding their faces puts the focus on the bodies.
Perfect way to break the ice at the party where no one knows each other. Also a good excuse to get out and discover the small, non-human friendly parts of your town.
P.S. We love Helsinkian DÃ¤ni Von Hickersby’s Flickr set, Bodies in Urban Spaces. Start your own colorful contortion movement!
Little People, Big World
We’ve always had a special place in our hearts for little things, especially the painstakingly painted miniature people that populate museum dioramas, doll houses, and toy stores.
The artist and photographer, Slinkachu, poses these tiny painted figures around London and photographs them, often in states of trouble (minute man being eaten by a fly) or despair (housewife looking longingly at a “Fat?” poster). He snaps them close up and from far away, which emphasizes their diminutive size in the big, scary, lonely city.
Sometimes he leaves the scene in place and visits it later to see what’s happened–most of the teeny folks are gone, sometimes they’ve been vandalized (like the mini-ATM and its pinky-sized banker).
HOW TO DO IT:
Honey, shrink your friends. Or, if don’t have Wayne Szalinski’s shrinker, purchase some wee peeps from your local toy or gift store. Explore your surroundings, make them do what you do: walk, flirt, grocery shop, snoop. Best part: you can keep them in your pocket for spur-of-the-moment mini-inspiration.
Missing Parts: Hidden People as Street Art
Mark Jenkins loves people and the street, that much is clear. His sense of humor, though: not so clear.
His street art installations involve mannequins dressed up to look, well, normal. But often, they’re leaning into a wall, stabbed in the back, or not entirely whole. Mannequin legs as shopping cart wheels. Fake feet sticking out of the bottom of an orange safety cone. Nothing’s too weird for him, and clearly, his aim is to surprise (his photos often showcase a passerby in confusion or shock).
But we love his whimsy, and we’re stirred to imitation.
HOW TO DO IT:
But, duh, don’t forget about the real people at your disposal. Jenkins also likes to hide his subjects in trash bags or behind wigs. Your friends will love being the center of attention without having to expose their faces.
And, of course, don’t forget to photograph the results–both the installation, and the astonished-creeped-out-excited-terrified people who walk past.