Faces of Evil

Photographer/Artist Hans Weishäupl has this book and/or exhibit called Faces of Evil in which he made composite portraits of infamous dictators from photos of over 350 people from the various countries from which those dictators are from.  For example, Hitler’s face was made from different parts of 37 people Weishäupl photogrpahed in Germany (though Hitler is actually from Austria, but whatevs). 

As per the Faces of Evil website:

But what do these composites stand for? A pars pro toto, showing that under the right circumstances, there is, if not a Hitler, then a potential accomplice or at least someone who ‘allows’ dictatorship in every one of us? At least they clearly show that cruel men such as Mao Zedong, Ceauşescu or Franco were people made of flesh and blood like everybody else, a phenomenon that Hannah Arendt called ‘the banality of evil’. They are not the abstract ‘monsters’ we try to disguise them as in order to distance ourselves from them.


Through the special and unusual way they were created, the FACES OF EVIL challenge us to deal with the human nature of tyrants on one hand and on the other hand with the fact that many helpers hide behind the head of a dictator, together creating the collective face of a dictatorship.

Though this is a pretty clever idea and great statement, I wonder how the people used to make the potraits feel about it.


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