Roger Weiss | Eating : the act of confidence

Roger Weiss, IA301114vd, 2014 (excerpt), Video Full HD 16:9 Col. 00:19:20

Roger Weiss was born in Switzerland and began experimenting with photography from an early age. Graduated with Mention of Excellence from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (Italy). His curiosity for the expressions of humankind open him the path to an artistic approach. He performs as an artist, art director as well as a fashion photographer. Observing the body, its possibilities, its personal victories and its concealed baggages, Roger Weiss analyzed, by a new way to use the photographic medium in which the obsession with cataloguing, repetition, and decomposition build a disturbing and full of details sight of the human body. This interview is a new step in the poetic of the artist through the investigation of the body and its aspects. Through the use of a new media: the video, Roger Weiss try to investigate even more in depth the feelings that the body reveal through his actions and movements during the process of feeding.

A.S. Why a topic related to food and eating?

R.W. Man is a being capable of inventing stories, postulates holding up the entire world as we know it. Behind every human being there is an incredible “architecture”, consisting of “bricks” or items such as knowledge, prejudices, experiences, habits, indoctrination, education, and so on. A vessel that, with time, we structure more and more, until becoming the fortress. The food, the act of eating, creates a spontaneous passage that can allow to get around these fortifications and get past the mask.

Actually, eating is a basic practice derived from the instinct of survival. The act itself is the merging point between two dimensions constantly connected with each other: the deepest one – our innermost and mysterious side –  and the external structure well known to all, where sounds, the eyes followed by the mouth, the tongue and the nerve endings translate into the so-called nourishment process. A development that occurs through an unconditional act of confidence that reveals itself in one the greatest human related moments of intimacy: eating. An act of will which allows lowering our defences to favour communication and the transition from what is external and foreign towards the most inner and private part of our body. In other words, this process generates life itself.

A.S. How do you think you can connect videos with your poetics always linked to the photographic medium? What kind of differences have you noticed?

R.W. Archivi Intimi  brings together private moments through a collection of videos created in my studio during the break between a photo session and the other. I face the video like a photograph in motion, a still image, by adding the element of sound. I have replaced the research of the detail, its my way of capturing images, with a microphone that let me to pick up amplified vibrations produced by the act of eating. Inserting in the image in the end, they create a real timeline.

A.S. What is your feelings observing the videos? What differences and what similarities among the subjects?

R.W. How much can be natural and spontaneous a person who is asked to eat in front of a camera? I am convinced that no matter the degree of spontaneity but only the repetition of an act; through endless attempts you can arrive at a relevant synthesis  in which there are authentic glimpse. What I try to do is to offer an opportunity to catch them.

A.S. What is your relationship with food and what’s your feeling about being observed?

R.W. I am very bashful but I like to observe others. I eat thinking that am gonna choose better the next day. I swallow most of the food without consciousness, for example products that I don’t know so well. I guess I can be more aware day by day and with time, create a more profound consciousness.

Roger Weiss Studio