Male IEU 22.03.16 Human Postures and their relation to Power

Neil Groom led this meeting of the Unit.

We started the session looking at Elias Canetti’s views on different body postures and their relationship to power. Not only were we looking at the inherent or inferred power plays of different postures (eg standing = dominant, active – kneeling = inactive, supplicant etc), but also at the sequence of positions and how different ordering could suggest various narratives or relations of power between figures. Our model was briefed on Canetti’s theory and we asked him to determine what sequences he wanted to take to illustrate his own narratives. Poses were held for 2 minutes for the first session, and then several minutes for the second session.

In the final session, we asked the model to consider the concept of adopting several poses as if he were part of a crowd – part of a mass of people. And then finally to adopt a position which was distinctly in contrast and separate from the ‘crowd’ and individualistic in nature. Our task was to use drawing to try and convey these differences.

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