Back in the 1930’s, William Lyon Phelps of Yale found the following sentence gleaming out of the pages of a freshman essay: “The girl tumbled down the stairs and lay prostitute at the bottom.” In the margin of the paper, Professor Phelps commented: “My dear sir, you must learn to distinguish between a fallen woman and one who has merely slipped.”
Here’s the thing. I’m a faller. I don’t mean that I stumble. I don’t mean that I trip. I mean I full-on wipeout on a semi-regular basis. Always have. And yes, I’ve been tested, and there are no physical reasons for it. I’m just a big galoot.
In honor* of my clumsiness (*not really), Italian photographer Sandro Giordoan has put together this seriously fun project called In Extremis (bodies with no regret). Here’s where he got the idea.
Last year, he had a minor bicycle accident which left him with major repercussions: he lost 30% of the functions in his right hand because instead of stopping his fall, he held onto the object in his hand. I’m assuming it was cake or something equally important. Shortly thereafter, a friend suffered a broken leg when he tried to keep his phone from falling into the water. This made Giordoan think.
He decided to do a series of staged photographs about how we value our possessions over ourselves. These fantastic images were the result.
“Each shot ‘tells’ about worn out characters who, as if a sudden black-out of mind and body took over, let themselves crash with no attempt to save themselves, unable, because of the fatigue of the everyday ‘representation’ of living, oppressed by ‘appearance’ instead of simply ‘existing’,” explained Giordano, in an excessively long sentence.
Personally, I think he’s overthinking it a bit, but they’re wonderfully entertaining photos nonetheless.