The Range of Faces People Make While Being Tasered Is Surprisingly Vast

This photo series of people being tasered presents faces that go shockingly beyond "violent mask of terror"

Out of context, photographer Patrick Hall’s new series looks like something completely different from what it actually is. If you were to come upon these photos with no point of reference, you would probably assume that at least some of the shirtless subjects, shot from the shoulder line up, were in various states of ecstasy. Indeed, these folks look similar to the actors in the character posters for Co.Create favorite, Nymphomaniac, all of whom are supposed to be in the throes of orgasm. Rather than sexual excitement, though, what’s coursing through the people in the more recent images is electric current from the tasers that are tasering them.

Photographs depicting people in pain can be hilarious, whether they’re falling down hard or getting hit in the head with things. Series meant to show off physical pain, however, are often staged, as the case with the two above examples. Emotionally painful photo series set out to capture actual pain, like the photographer who informed his friends and family, one at a time, that he was HIV-positive and took their portraits as the information was sinking in. The aptly named "Taser Photoshoot" series captures the rawness of the unstaged category, with the humor inherent in images of physical calamity.

Even knowing what’s about to happen to them, the subjects of Hall’s photos seem to not have been adequately prepared for the feeling itself. The range of emotions on display here is heavy on surprise, but it also contains terror panic, reluctant submission, utter discomfort, and even perhaps some unexpected bliss. At least the participants were indeed aware of what was happening to them. Nobody usually gets that luxury. As the recent protests in Ferguson have revealed anew, sometimes the force authorities will use to subdue people is excessive on a level of tasers and beyond—and it might come without sufficient warning. With that connection in mind, it seems almost in bad taste to unveil a photo series showing off the lighter side of restraint, but perhaps we'll chalk that up to a case of poor timing—something that is the photographer's enemy.

Watch the behind the scenes video below.

h/t to 22 Words

[Photos: Patrick Hall]

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  • Bill Usilton

    The weapon used here is not a taser. It is a stun gun. Similar but different. Just sayin'.

  • Rufus Jr McLean

    I have one for myself,my wife and my buddy. I've been hit with one on purpose to know what it is like if it is taken from me. Trust me when I say this: get drunk first and relieve yourself in the bathroom before being tased! THIS IS NOT A TOY-SELF DEFENSE ONLY. They would have to pay me $$$$ before I do that stunt again!

  • bodyworker83

    And this is art? How? Have we as a civilization lowered ourselves to watching people tortured for entertainment? Sad.

  • Joseph Boycott

    These people aren't being forced to do this, so I really doubt you can classify this as torture. You sound like a fucking pessimistic d-bag. Get off the internet and smile more.

  • katrinaelisefludd

    I agree actually. I am not condemning the artist- but I do appreciate the question about civilization- and TORTURE IS TORTURE. You can "torture" a piece of fabric to accomplish a certain look- so maybe it's you that should smile more at thoughtful people who pose questions instead of calling people "fucking pessimistic d-bags". Perhaps you too need to smile more and enjoy intellectual discourse?

  • Nathaniel Louis Kitt

    They aren't naked. In the video, the guys are shirtless and the girls are either wearing tube tops or have their shirts dropped past their shoulders.

  • Dina GA

    They're not. They (girls) are wearing clothes over their chest line. But they also want to make you wonder what the image is about - e.g. orgasm (?)