Coco Johnson

City:

As an emphasis was put on making your own protective mask at home during the pandemic, I began sewing fabric breasts into a protective helmet or shield. Once completed, I decided to push the concept further by making a protective body suit. In isolation, I used myself as a model. I began exploring the relationship I have to my body and the effect of performative movements. Being blind within the body suit, the actions I perform depend on mood, physical touch, how I navigate my environment, and the surrounding noise. The blindness furthermore allows me to explore choreography that flows naturally throughout my body. The process partially resembles an interpretive dance.The long exposure captures my movements rendering them continual and fluid, yet I am restricted to a confined space. The physical force of domesticity fights against my body and its actions. 

The title Body Armor felt appropriate for the series as it derives from a time when populations are protecting themselves not only from disease, but also from many forms of prejudice. The work serves to embrace the body, a place of empowerment, with all its unique flaws and celebrate the raw power of the unedited. It is a way to accept one’s self and to view others without judgment of the physical body.

Title: Body Armor No.23 Medium: Long Exposure Digital Photograph Year: 2020
Title: Body Armor No.12 Medium: Long Exposure Digital Photograph Year: 2020
Title: Body Armor No.15 Medium: Long Exposure Digital Photograph Year: 2020
Title: Face Mask Medium: Digital Photograph Year: 2020
Title: Body Armor No. 25 Medium: Long Exposure Digital Photograph Year: 2020
Bio: 

Coco Johnson is from Gilbert, Arizona and is a multi-media artist focusing in painting, photography, textiles and ceramics. After receiving her BFA from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, she accepted a residency in Reykjavik, Iceland where she took part in several international exhibitions. Coco received her MFA in Ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2020.  Her work challenges her conservative upbringing, drawing on personal experiences as a woman relating to body, gender, fetishism, queerness, visibility and even the sport of synchronized swimming. By combining textile and ceramic arts, she explores the dichotomy of hard and soft, masculine and feminine, obscurity and familiarity, while presenting a strong sense of materialism.

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