Photographs, sculpture, performance
The installation Push up consists of a male bra, photos, and flyers and is arranged in a window store-like set up. The bra is shown as a product to be purchased, and the photos and flyers serve as advertising material. The bra brings to the male torso the desirable shape of defined muscles and is worn under the shirt. It is made out of the stretch fabrics, elastic band, sponge and plastic, the same materials used in female push-up bras that gives any breast an optimal look. Push up is also one of the exercises for building upper body muscles.
Alongside the objects and photos, a strong muscular man is distributing to the male visitors the leaflets that advertise the sponge torso and the benefits of purchasing it. The leaflet is offered with champagne and an attentive cordiality.
The work is informed by the western world’s current condition in which self-optimization seems to be mandatory for social and economic success. The number of gym infrastructure is increasing, in which focused exercises for shaping the body, fast results and the precise instructions about a diet are being promoted. This altogether offers conditions for the realization of the conception of the body as an investment. Numerous unison responses bring this trend in relation to the dominant political and economic structure. Through investigating this, Push up questions the ongoing objectification of the body, and its influence on the formation of identity. It also questions the normalization of the accessories that were used by women to imitate and perform desirable body shapes throughout history.
The work was released in the collaboration with textile designer Mia Ventin and sculptor Elena Apostolovski as a commission of an art project (Wo)men becoming that celebrates 70 years from publishing Second sex by Simone de Beauvoir.