A take on body suspension

Endorphins Rising · Stef Bloch & Maria Tokarz · Cairo Tattoo Convention

Dear visitors of the Cairo Tattoo Convention, dear visitors of the Internet,

This small exhibit depicts the collective works of Endorphins Rising, an international body suspension crew based in Dijon, France. It was made possible by fellow photography artists Stef Bloch & Maria Tokarz, who joined our « hooklove family » and documented some of our suspension events, from the most intimate to the most public, over the course of several weeks.

Here are bits and pieces of what we do, from skin prepping to flying. We sincerely hope they will allow you to take a step into our world, and we wish this small selection of photos to convey some of the spirit, some of the energy, some of the happiness, beauty and intensity that are shared during these moments. We hope they will fuel the desire to know more, and maybe, who knows, even try suspension yourself.

We understand that some of the images are graphic, and may shock your sensitivity. While photography is a strong tool for expressing emotion, there's only so much it can do when approaching such a subtle and polarized subject as suspension. As a result, we'll do our best to explain what it is we really do and why, so our images can hopefully « speak » to you.

We suspend ourselves, and we suspend people who ask us to. This does involve passing metal hooks through the body, after aseptically piercing skin, after finding the right spot for the right anatomy. This also involves rigging the hooks to a pulley system, using rated ropes and equipment, calculating load distribution in order to work within acceptable safety parameters… but most importantly, suspension involves understanding & supporting.

It's all about the person who's going up, their expectations, their fears, their excitement, their moment ! Our mission is to be caring, guiding & coaching in a respectful manner, adapting to each individual's psychology. It's all about finding the right steps, the right words, the right timing, the right notes, the right tempo. Suspension is the combination of many crafts & techniques, but it is, above everything, about people.

Suspension is, in its purest form, the art of human bonding. One does not suspend alone. Suspension allows some of the most introverted individuals to rise and shine, to overthrow their fears, to expose their sensitivity, to connect with surrounding people through emotional and practical support, and to emerge, empowered and sometimes reborn even, as part of a community.