Subverting the idea of the nude, Chloe Rosser’s photographs intrigue, entice, confuse and repel. Rosser’s sculptural figures embrace the surreal whilst retaining an absolute reality. Knowingly unnerving, her models contort themselves into fleshy geological ‘forms’.
Rosser’s work Form, speaks of the human condition and our increasing alienation from our own bodies. Function, continues this journey through meticulous, inclusive eyes as figures connects further. In these photographs, what should be intimately familiar is transformed into an unfamiliar sculpture. Photographed in this contorted fashion, the body becomes almost inhuman; it is a mindless mass of flesh, a growth. Although the figures are abstract they still retain many human qualities; foetal like poses, flecks of freckles and the subtle arc of the spine. The forms photographed are a stark contrast to our society’s concept of an ‘ideal body’. While their peculiarity and soft lighting intriguesus, a sense of the cadaver repels us.
The naked body has been a major focus throughout the history of art – with the male gaze dominating the field. Our acceptance of misogynistic and sexualised bodies in art, media and life contort the reality of what it is to be human and comfortable with our own skin. Highly debated and wrapped in controversy, our relationship with the human body is arguably now more complicated and widely discussed than ever before.
In her images, Rosser approaches her ‘forms’ undeterred by the suggestion of the grotesque, which is created by the omission of heads, hands and sex organs from the body, rendering it into a fleshy mass. The photographs appear to be digitally manipulated, yet are merely carefully taken at appropriate angles to seem edited and simplified. Each form resides in a space that is also pared back to the bare minimum. Far from the sought after attractive body image, it is the raw and unaltered quality of these images that render them most potent.
Rosser challenges mainstream conceptions of body image through capturing a fluidity of gender and identity, embracing inclusivity every step of the way. The anonymity and fragmented appearance allows us to focus on the colours in the skin, body hair, marks and contours. The forms sit either isolated, or alongside others where their interactions visibly play out. They lean on each other, cling together, balancing as though on the brink of falling. Often taken in the models homes, their shapes inhabit an inescapable stripped back space with only suggestions of architecture and furniture. They are a microcosm that mirrors the boxy containers we live in. In an age when we are saturated with digitally altered and enhanced imagery, these real, fleshy sculptures stand out and challenge how we look at the human body. Rosser’s impeccable photographs celebrate the straight, the round, the curvy, the skinny, the lumpy and the bumpy, the dark, the light and every shade in between. There is no way to marginalise these forms. They stand on equal terms. We are left to find the poetry and rhythms of the body in space and hopefully to appreciate our own imperfections that little bit more.
Artist & Curator’s Exhibition Tour with
Chloe Rosser & Laura Noble
Saturday 19 May 12:00 – 13:00
Artist Exhibition Tour with Chloe
Saturday 26 May 12:00 – 13:00
Artist Talk: Chloe Rosser 'In
Conversation’ with LANG Director and
exhibition curator Laura Noble
Wednesday 30 May 18:00 – 19:30
Free for Photofusion members/ £5 nonmembers