Michal Plata – Sculpting Bodies

As much as the body seeks comfort and ease, it needs resistance to progress or even maintain itself.

In a world of ergonomic, streamlined, ready-to-everything products, services and even relationships the importance of the obstacle and physical effort is neglected. The ergonomic is endlessly adaptable, it is fluid and therefore formless. The healthy and physical body is defined by a sculpted, well defined shape and form.

What will the future body look like, once everything we encounter is designed to be unnoticed and not to challenge us?


You Can Not Live Forever, But You Can Try

Products such as diet shakes and workouts like the High Intensity Interval Training, hold a promise that one can gain fitness or loose weight without much discipline, time or effort. Fitness and body health becomes a consumable commodity.

The work Live Forever, an edition of sport pants with french fries as a pattern play with this contradictory nature around consumption and nutrition in the health and fitness world. The work Protein Chips, further references the absurd development of new products around gym and fitness food.

You Can Not Live Forever, But You Can Try lends itself to the title of the project, first seen on an actual gym in Belgrade, this work is installed on the prominent windows of Naim facing the entrance and street and installed right next to the official logo of the studio, sets focus onto a almost existential aspect of the gym, life and death. Suddenly the workout becomes like a ritual and tool in a Sisyphean attempt to beat death and the constant decay of our bodies.

Gym Knowledge mimics the motivational slogans commonly used in gyms. By highlighting these phrases, the pressure applied by our current capitalistic system on the individual, is referenced and how we are ‘apparently’ each individually responsible for our success in life.

The video work Sculpting bodies reveals the excessive mastery of several attributes of fitness including strength, endurance, power, speed, balance by opposing the sculptural quality of this manifestation of a human physical achievement with its almost surreal absurdity.