Francois Robert was at an auction in the mid 1990s and took home three lockers. Two of the lockers were empty, but the third one contained a real human skeleton which must have served as a teaching aid in a science class. Robert realized that his skeleton was limited: it was wired together for display. He traded his skeleton for a disarticulated human skeleton online - a box containing 206 separate bones.
Since then, Robert has spent hundreds of hours working with those bones, arranging them painstakingly into striking, iconic shapes, each five or six feet wide, and photographing them. He calls the resulting images “Stop the Violence.” Each shot takes a full day to set up.
The results are beautiful and haunting. Robert confesses that more than anything else he is motivated by the fear of death. “The bones are something left behind, a form of memory,” he says. “I try to treat that person on my studio floor with respect.”