After last year’s critically acclaimed exhibition, La Femme Fontaine (2018), which saw the artist use concrete sculptures and fountain systems to investigate ideas of wetness and fluids in connection to feminine symbolism, Alix Marie now turns her attention to the construction of masculinity. In her new show Shredded, Maries presents us with a study of the idealised male body, exploring the concept of virility within the bodybuilder community.
Conceived as a multi-sensory, immersive experience, on first entering the exhibition, visitors are surrounded by the sounds of gym equipment as they look upon images of muscular physiques from three new bodies of work: Olympians (2018), The more he starts to bring that water out the better he has a tendency to appear (2019) and It’s like somebody is blowing air into your muscles (2019).
Each series showcases the toned muscles of bodybuilders, highlighting and questioning various aspects of stereotypical masculinity. The more he starts to bring that water out the better he has a tendency to appear, for example, sees muscular torsos enlarged and put under spotlights causing the images to appear as though they are sweating and evoking a visceral and tangible sense of the physical body. Meanwhile in It’s like somebody is blowing air into your muscle (2019), close-up shots of male bodybuilders’ skin are printed onto fabric and attached to wind blowers. The effect is the swell and deflating of muscles, asking the viewer to question how we perceive strength and the durability of the body.
Shredded is showing at Roman Road until 2nd June 2019