Ioana Cojocariu

Body – Experience – Knowledge
video 19’00”, 2013

loana Cojocariu’s work illuminates how similar body motions can have fundamentally different meanings depending the context in which they occur. The video·sheds light on how we control and read our own bodies and those of the people around us, and how similar body language can take on entirely different meanings depending on the social status of the person. Viewers are invited to witness three lessons that all reflect the varying degree of vulnerability to which the human body can be exposed. Active actions are juxtaposed with passive, and voluntary choices with involuntary, in a world increasingly full of contradictions.

A woman asking for money on the street instructs Ioana Cojocariu in how to bow her head and set her last hope on getting passers-by to show mercy. There does not appear to be any other choice. Helpless and motionless, she subordinates herself completely in order to get someone to comprehend her vulnerability. instructor shows the young woman how to assume the child’s pose, a relaxing position of rest intended to strengthen the heart and nervous system. The police demonstrate how she can use her body to effectively bring another to the ground in order to handcuff and render him/ her harmless.