Julius Thissen, A Received Notion of Masculinity, 2014-15.
Julius Thissen, A Received Notion of Masculinity, 2014-15.
Suzie van Staaveren, Ceramic Rings (2015). Photo by Luka Karssenberg
Suzie van Staaveren, Ceramic Rings (2015). Photo by Luka Karssenberg
Nina Cristante, W, Music Video Still (2016-17)
Nina Cristante, W, Music Video Still (2016-17)
Life Sport 02
Life Sport 02
"W" by Nina Cristante, 2016.
Exercises in stretching the limits of the fit physique
Friday September 9th 2016
Sunday October 30th 2016
Opening: Friday 9 September, 6-11pm
MAMA, Witte de Withstraat 29-31, Rotterdam
With contributions by: 
Vanessa Brazeau, Nina Cristante, Florentina Holzinger, Life Sport, Claudia Maté, Suzie van Staaveren, Julius Thissen
Curated by: 
Marloes de Vries
MAMA presents CONDITION, a group exhibition examining the relation between art, fitness, and the limits of physical ability. MAMA shows new works by artists who reveal different perspectives on the fit physique. Alongside the exhibition, CONDITION offers space for performance, training, and physical well-being.
In the restless society, physical well-being is a luxury and commodity. Advertising assures that a fit physique is a choice; it's simply a matter of wanting one. An optimised body not only meets an ideal of beauty; it is less likely to break under pressure. In a society where time is precious and efficiency highly valued, one's condition seems a prerequisite to excelling. Is there, however, an interesting form of resistance to this system of efficiency via the unproductive labour of repetitive tasks?

The artists in CONDITION, each from their fascination with movement, demonstrate that training isn't always geared towards a fit physique; it can also serve as an exercise in stretching social boundaries. Nina Cristante's work researches and develops alternative systems for physical well-being and advocates for self-reliance and autonomy. For CONDITION, she shows stills from the new film,"W", which premieres online at the exhibition's opening. Life Sport opened in Athens in 2014. Pursuing alternative methods for arts funding, it is a hybrid space that produces and sells jogging pants and provides space for art exhibitions. At MAMA, Life Sport presents an installation featuring their jogging pants, which is reminiscent of sports shops that sell fitness both as product and lifestyle. Julius Thissen's physical development is part of his artistic practice. Julius was born a biological woman, and his work examines the limits of masculinity and its stereotypes. He often works with his personal trainer and muse on his performances and is presenting two new performances for CONDITION.

In addition to stretching social boundaries and conventions, movement is also used to test the limits of one's own physical ability. Florentina Holzinger makes explosive and very physical performances in which injuries are not rare. She works with Claudia Maté on animations in which Florentina's avatar exceeds her actual physically abilities. Suzie van Staaveren makes work that invites touch and usage. For CONDITION, she shows her ceramic rings in an attempt to lure the public into a physical challenge.
Vanessa Brazeau wrote her thesis while running. She argues for an integration of the body in education, and during CONDITION, she gives an Ideogging workshop.

CONDITION sees MAMA explore alternative forms of fitness and physical well-being. MAMA invites visitors to do the same and, in addition to the exhibition, offers a programme of performances and workshops. Visit showroommama.nl for information on the current programme and registration.


Performance Julius Thissen (during opening and Kunstavond XL)
Date: September
Time: 7pm

Q&A with Nina Cristante
Date: 23 September 2016
Time: 5pm

Workshop Ideogging by Vanessa Brazeau
Date: 22 October 2016
Time: 2pm

Performance: InstaBallet by Florentina Holzinger
Date: 30 OCtober 2016
Time: 8:30pm

On September 9, the new film "W" by Nina Cristante premieres online on amuse-i-d.vice.com during the opening.