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"Bereitschaft serves to illustrate how the pursuit of a fitness ideal can inadvertently perpetuate misogynistic narratives and imagery associated with 'Aryan' ideologies. While much of the presented material may not initially appear to align with far-right ideology, Ganslmeier and Zibelnik adeptly delineate a pattern illustrating how mainstream visual language is co-opted by extremist factions to amplify their influence."

Bereitschaft (12;12), 2024

Ana Zibelnik & Jakob Ganslmeier
Motion design by RNDR 
Music by Daniel Hermann-Collini

The German term "Bereitschaft" encompasses readiness and willingness to take action, yet it also harbors darker undertones. In 1939, German sculptor Arno Breker (1900-1991) crafted a statue titled with this word, portraying a male, nude warrior drawing a sword, symbolizing preparedness for the impending call to arms faced by the German people. This sculpture has become an obsession on TikTok. Through their video work, the artists delve into the glorification of the 'sculpted' male physique and the advocacy of self-discipline within TikTok fitness trends, examining how these inclinations mirror fascist tendencies and serve as symptoms of a right-wing ideological shift. Terms like 'brohood', 'gymbros', and 'bromance' evoke a sense of unity, wherein the individual becomes subordinate. Influencers promote order and discipline, urging followers to disregard the inner "bitch voice" which purportedly leads to weakness. The trend not only defends masculinity with misogynistic characteristics but also manifests increasingly peculiar manifestations, including 'bonesmashing', 'chiselled jawline', 'mewing', 'looksmaxxing', facial fitness, and 'hunter eyes', advocating an unsettling and extreme pursuit of physical perfection.

From the exhibition text by Mirjam Kooiman, Head of Artistic Programming at FOAM Amsterdam

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