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An Anthropometrical Workshop

During this workshop, students learned about a specific use of photography in anthropometry and criminology, collaborated in order to photograph each other´s body parts and finally decided to use the printed pictures to make an installation, a composition.

2011 / The workshop was conducted in the summer camp of Sally Art School in 2011 by its students

Read in local language

In 1883, Alphonse Bertillon introduced a system of identification with an aim to distinguish recidivists from decent people. He took photos of many criminals and tried to make conclusions based on the dimensions of the body parts. His method was later replaced by fingerprints although measurement of the human individual, anthropometry, still remains vital for various companies and countries. Especially from contemporary perspective, his ideas seem outrageous. Nonetheless, material obtained in such a way, photographs of certain parts of the body can still be used to reach many conclusions.


The aim of this workshop was to pose an alternative way to looking at people. It is hard to make conclusions about a human based on a single body part due to the fact that people usually take off from the whole. Collective work in photographing each other and the coming up with the realization of the project could also be named as goals in this workshop.


– Lecture about biometry, anthropometry and their links with art and photography
– Photographing of the different body parts
– Printing of the photos
– Reviewing the photos
– Collective brainstorming to decide what the students wanted to do with such imagery
– Installing of the pictures to the chosen place according to the created conception.

Each student had a different body part to photograph. If one had the assignment to take photos of ears, he or she had to photograph all the ears present. Since the group consisted of 30 people, we had 900 photographs to print.

Materials needed

– Cameras
– Printer cassettes
– Paper

It would take about 3 printer cassettes to print 900 pictures, ink would be a lot more expensive.
When conducted with full concentration, the workshop should take about 10 academic hours or a bit less, depending on several factors such as the amount of participators and their age. I would advise dividing the time between several days.

This entry was posted in Best practice, English, ISCED 2 Lower secondary = 13 – 15 years, ISCED 3 Upper secondary = 16 – 19 years, Installation, Other, Photography and video. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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