Bend Over, 2001

Bend Over refers to a situation of extreme vulnerability and intimacy: a scantily clad man or woman is bending forward, showing the curve of their back. Even though this is in fact a medical examination for a scoliosis case, Luc Tuymans has placed the viewer in the uncomfortable position of having to watch an almost humiliating situation, thus making us complicit with the power that science and medicine exert over individuals, as stated in the authoritarian tone of the title. In doing so, he affirms that images cannot be banal or neutral when human life is at stake.