2005 – video projection onto a wall
One by one, two men and two women, all with muscular builds, appear in front of a white background wearing garishly colored sport briefs and bikinis. They complete a rehearsed series of movements - the free-style routines they present in front of large audiences at bodybuilder tournaments. Then they appear opposite us, in life-size, in an almost intimate atmosphere without background music. Their slow movements, the cracking of their joints, their breathing and groaning and the sweat they excrete make their considerable physical efforts palpable.
Viewers mentally attempt to understand the tensing of the bodybuilders' muscles. As if standing in front of a mirror, they compare their own physical appearance with those of the athletes. In the process, they may also become aware of their roles as passive voyeurs observing active individuals who are exerting themselves to the fullest.
Bodybuilders think of their bodies as something constructed, as sculptures. They mold and design their bodies through concerted training and special diets.
Through the form of the performance and the athletes' posing, the viewers wind up in the role of a judge who decides upon their degree of perfection. Thus, in terms of content, this work also addresses the issue of beauty and how it is defined.
The work was first shown publicly as part of the solo exhibition “Body-Bilder” (Body Images, 2005) at the Galerie Gabriele Rivet in Cologne.