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.

Komplex 4


the beginning is standing
knows practice is necessary
twists its arms back and pierces
its heels. the head needs to not fall off
and uses the hands for this
then it happens anyway
and there is a curved line
which ends in regret.
until the head was never attached
to the body
then the beginning is standing again.

here the beginning stands facing you
it holds the slap with braided hands
then is a flexible torso
bends in two directions
manifesting but one.

the angle this takes is
that it is possible to swim
on dry land
if the body is a triangle
one side can be its double
and alternately stay hypotenuse
maybe this is beautiful upper body
stays afloat and legs are drowning.

until the beginning stands again
and replaces its legs tentatively
figures which fits where better
arms loose on the side
decide one has to go
then the other.

this beginning reproduces itself
supports the lower back
and is but one exception
elevating heels
but when it turns it is
being alone and twisted
while the rest of the line
proceeds as not having anything
to do with that position.
Exercise this slowly exactly.

until this beginning spreads the body
in bigger and smaller circles
counting always
1 – 2
3 – 4

Komplex 11 (exercise with chair)

“work is calling” and
stretching expectations around
it an ascending curve
lets the lower arm flapping
this behind chair bends lower back
being then down in memory
forced to begin again.

so stiff tries it out
and sits like stair
“well, well, well…”
lifts legs to spear
and repel and how
can this make this

first confronts work
at a distance
then mimics its form
with a spring
for dramatic effect
inspects up close concludes
“I win! You don’t
look that good.”
victory spreads its self everywhere

fall out legs drag flex.

now spreading them
sitting will lift and fuck
the universe just
to recoil into outset position

the closing has not accepted
turns to the trace of another side
the sun with hand then raises
arms to disable the threat
then lets them sink into

Komplex 16 (exercises on a staircase)

ambition is I told you so
what it does and what it says
is not aligned for instance climbing
should skip a step to the top
each time and the descent be half as fast
instead ascending looks like a creep
and downwards can’t run fast enough
fear is looking down from height.

worship draws a line from the groin
to the hands and then folds it
the head now where the food is.
feather this.

one leg higher than the other
takes the angle of a clock
relates time and space
in which the body dies 24hours
daily and wishful
time is other.

now is repetition eternal in which
arms are solidarity with legs
only the head is a cone

now stands still to listen
for something new like a position
bowing to hear the feet
and the arm is a leg
the other leg an arm
this possibility is a new
creature and
perplexed at that

then punishment raises arms
and surrender becomes a plank
that evens out upstairs and down
everything is a square with it
and hurts the back.
inside ants walk up and down.

Komplex 24

one and two braced hands
facing away from each other
are a test to sight
that one and two hasn’t disappeared
looks at before and after now

none of that
where one and two stand
quite independently
minimal overlap a cross locked
to use eachother
to cover more ground

when added
two is so athletic
looks pathetic as a table
posits the question
why one should try so hard
to bend it is a stupid table
when lifted no one can sit at it
anyway for god’s sake!
It’s made out of people.

now searching for sin
one and two face
each other
and legs chime back accusingly
fold in front of chest for protection

keeps at arms length

interlaced aggravates
tick tack



* To find the main gestuaire, go to the centre, where it can mostly be seen reigning.

15 février 2015