The Glorious and the Grotesque
A photo series in collaboration with photographer Hana Knizova. London, June 2017
Bompas & Parr explored the delicate balance of attraction, repulsion, desire and disgust in The Glorious and the Grotesque, a photographic and filmic project that pushe the boundaries of good taste to graphic new levels.
The series of images, produced in collaboration with photographer Hana Knizova, is designed to provoke and unsettle viewers, forcing them to question their own preconceptions and belief systems. It also raises the debate over nature versus nurture in our responses to emotionally charged situations.
The series is inspired by the International Affective Picture System (IAPS), a database of images developed by psychologists at the University of Florida to study emotion and attention. It comprises nearly 1,000 images ranging from everyday objects to erotic scenes and even depictions of mutilations and death. Participants are typically asked to rate how pleasant or unpleasant, calm or excited, and how controlled or in-control they feel. To date they have never been released.
These images are deliberately withheld from general release to preserve their efficacy as a psychological test. The Glorious and the Grotesque uses the techniques of the IAPS collection – evoke multiple reactions and emotional responses that progressively reveal themselves upon closer examination – without revealing its secrets.
Taking food as its central theme, Bompas & Parr's 15 images deliberately contrast scenes of food-based delight with elements of disgust.