Shape Shifter

Prototype 350 x 90 x 160 cm: steel tubes, steel sheet, leather

The Shape Shifter deals with the cultivation of the body through the eyes of fitness culture. Questioning the obsession of running after the „perfect“ contour, shaping oneself to the „ideal“ imposed by society. Today´s most common perception of what it means to be fit, and the primary motivation for exercising, is to look fit. The gym becomes a factory-like space, perpetuating an idea of the ideal body, trapping the human in a endless cycle of permanent performative act of self-realization.

The project takes a humorous, ironic standpoint towards the perception of fitness culture, diving into the fixation of self transformation towards an ideal figure. The body takes a submissive role and is framed by the Shape Shifter, which holds the body in a loop of repetitive prewritten movements. The Shape Shifter is an exclusionary machine by confronting the actant with size limitation, almost preselecting its operators. Engaging with it, initiates a cycle of relational dynamics between the body and the machine. This creates an intertwined assemblage manifested through a distortion of silhouettes, merging the two elements into one entity. By covering the participant, working out stops being a spectacle of the body and becomes a spectacle of the action. The interactions are materialized, shifting the body into a dysmorphic creatures while harboring an illusion of shaping oneself underneath. A visual spectacle is shaped that fragments and covers the working-out body instead of showcasing its fit figure. Can exercising become a creative statement instead of just a numb obsession?

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