In GYM, Christiane Peschek’s first solo show at ALBA Gallery, the artist argues that body-optimising spaces like gyms, fitness clubs and yoga studios have come to replace temples and religious locations: they represent new places of devotion – from an all-mighty God to a self-worship culture.
Moreover, blurring the distinctions between virtual space and corporeal presence, Peschek focused her research on the current wave of fitness and wellness apps, online platforms and mindful retreats we have found ourselves to be absorbed by due to the constrained passiveness of the pandemic. We have grown accustomed to practicing yoga in front of a screen, meditating through a dedicated app or following promising video workouts from Youtube, in continuous research for a godlike state of body and mind.
In this newly created interdependence between virtual spaces, physical body enhancement and mindful living, GYM gives the opportunity to enter an environment in contact with one’s extended digital body and to reach complete physical and spiritual awareness.
The show consists of a 10-minute workout visitors are invited to experience repeatedly, as a ritual. Conceived as a minimally designed space with multi-sensory elements, the exhibition space has been built to stimulate the visitors to extend their physical bodies and be reshaped in the virtual realm. Similarly, the multilayered design mirrors a deepening of the visitors’ personal experience in the space: on an ethereal, mystical background, the glowing circles hide additional elements that float in the virtual space and enhance the journey into the online present. Once the 10-minute experience has come to an end, we highly encourage you to continue the journey on your computer screen by visiting the virtual version of GYM: https://gym.christianepeschek.com/