This exhibition was created to help change our society’s view of overweight people. Indeed, obese people, and fat bodies in general, are still not very visible in the public space, the media or the arts and are too often the subject of criticism (body shaming), especially on social media.
So I chose to go against these trends and highlight these bodies, to show their singular beauty through an artistic approach. Let us remember that if the beauty of large bodies seems misunderstood or forgotten in our society, it was and is still recognized in many other cultures: whether we are interested in prehistoric goddesses (Malta, Lespugue, etc.), in the classical painting, Sumo culture or Mauritanian marital customs (to name just a few past and contemporary examples).
So I offered to people who suffered from obesity and who were part of a treatment course to photograph them. I wanted to show the reality of their bodies, without exhibition, but without false modesty either. And I was surprised to see that the models wanted to make visible the different realities of their experience, even when these gave them complex: bulges, cellulite, operation scars, soft flesh, etc. Yes, it was like a healthy way to lift the veil, to go beyond taboos and things left unsaid about the reality of their face and their experience.
Some photos were taken in the studio, others directly at the models homes (to show their personal life), still others in open or public space. There is a great diversity. Some photos highlight the very sculptural aspect of the bodies, others remind us that on many occasions, they can feel cramped. They have sometimes glorious and magnificent bodies, sometimes the suffer and feel impeded. In any case, I wanted to make the patients actors of the images produced. So they were the ones who decided in consultation with me what they wanted to show, what they wanted to hide…
This exhibition is rich in a great diversity of forms, atmospheres, places and moods… It is an exhibition that takes a smiling, benevolent and aesthetic look at fat bodies. By discovering it, we quickly notice that it is enough to change our look to better appreciate their beauty.
Bertrand Perret : Le corps gros # métamorphoses
a photographic exhibition to fight fatphobia
from February 1 to March 12, 2022
at the library of the 1st arrondissement – Lyon
(opening on Thursday February 3 at 6 p.m.)
To learn more about the project: