15 02 15

PAM652 – Gymnastik für alle


Gymnastik für Alle takes its primary material and its title from a book of exercises. The book includes black-and-white illustrations of people exercising, people taking up postures and gesticulating in manners that will promote their health/their efficiency at being alive : their beauty/their efficiency at looking pleasurable.

Both principles (beauty and health) are part of the project of building a good nation, reproducing a good nation with only the necessary material, transforming the nation into the material necessary for the promotion of beauty and health, and reducing the consumption of all sports equipment that has no use-value other than its role as gymnastic prop.

The primary Gymnastik, Gymnastik A, deploys
the outside
the group
and the inside

in a gestuaire that only communicates the desire for the body to be healthy and beautiful. Gymnastik A can only “work” on this to the extent that its elements contradict the Standardbewegungen exacted from the body the rest of the time. Its gestuaire deploys the useful objects (“Nutzgegenstände”) – chairs, group, people, outside, tissues, inside, stairs – in a way that specifically deviates from the gestuaires that reign in the workplace and the domestic realm.

Nevertheless, Gymnastik A is definitely an element of the main, central, reigning gestuaire of social domestication.*

Gymnastik A claims that the taking up of deviant postures regarding chairs, stairs, the inside, people, tissues, the group and the outside that also promote efficiency and beauty is “aus dem Leben des modernen Menschen nicht wegzudenken”: i.e., Gymnastik A can’t imagine modern life without these deviant postures. “Sie erhält und verbessert die Gesundheit und trägt dazu bei, das physische Alter und damit die Leistungsfähigkeit zu verlängern”: i.e., taking up deviant postures and gesticulating in manners that promote health and beauty with tissues, the inside, stairs, people, etc, improve the modern person’s health and thus extend its ability to achieve goals and lifespan.

Thus, Gymnastik A contorts the useful deployment of workplace and domestic objects (people, the outside, the inside, and stairs) in order to prolong the modern person’s productive lifespan. Its deviation from the reigning gestuaire of social domestication is standardized with the goal of regulating the modern person’s death. Thus, Gymnastik A catalogues, with black and white illustrations, some elements of the nation’s main, reigning death-regulatory gestuaire, elements that deploy and are supported by people, chairs, stairs, tissues, the outside, the group and the inside.

Insofar as time “spent” exercising Gymnastik A’s gestuaire of standardized deviancy increases the productive lifespan, a superficially frivolous expenditure pays itself off.

Gymnastik A is good for society.


Taken up as an exercise to jog mental disposition out of an ataxic state, Gymnastik B (Gymnastik für Alle) employs Gymnastik A’s postures and manners to facilitate verbal expression. The verbal realm of the “personal” recognizes the gestuaire that Gymnastik A illustrates, but ascribes meanings to it that differ from its original position as a health-and-beauty-promoting element of the main, reigning, central social gestuaire.

The verbal realm of the « personal » recognizes the principles (health and beauty) behind Gymnastik A, but, ignorant as to how to fulfill them, remains inclined to refuse its well-intentioned encouragement to do so.

Gymnastik B generates itself by taking up Gymnastik A’s promotional postures towards people, tissues, the outside, stairs, etc, into the code of its own inefficiency. This misuse of Gymnastik A is deliberate. B takes up A’s gestuaire as a sequence of motivations to model or tone the verbal realm of the “personal” and the situation in which it finds itself – aiming at facility, trapped in ataxia.

In general, Gymnastik B, basing itself on Gymnastik A, aims at verbal movement. It aspires to solve and move out of the “problematic situation”. Gymnastik B aspires to fail on Gymnastik A’s terms. But in aspiring to fail Gymnastik A, Gymnastik B cannot not succeed on Gymnastik A’s terms, at the very least, by producing. Through Gymnastik B, the verbal realm of the « personal » ends up painfully bowing down to the principles of being efficiently healthy and beautiful.

Gymnastik B (Gymnastik für Alle) has little emancipatory potential. In its protracted efforts to simultaneously contradict the principles of Gymnastik A and the ataxia of the “personal” verbal realm, it must accept the underlying importance of productivity asserted by Gymnastik A. It succeeds in contradicting Gymnastik A not in terms of its desire, but in terms of its result. The result, the product, Gymnastic B, Gymnastik für Alle, contradicts Gymnastik A’s proposition that a modern person without deviant postures cannot be imagined.