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  • Fitness to work?


    Konrad Wakolbinger

    Under the topos ‘health’, a comprehensive optimization and enhancement logic is implanted into people. Fitness is one of several influencing factors in establishing innovative, exceptional and performative entrepreneur of oneself.

    Racing bikes, running shoes, yoga mats, gym mem­bers­hips, these are the things that you have to have as a middle-class western indi­vi­du­al. To finish a marathon once a year is a self-imposed obli­ga­ti­on for every ambitious manager. Does there still remain any large company without a fitness program? After all, the health and per­for­mance of our employees is important to us.

    These colossal, steel, muscular hard-grafting bodies within the visual language of “Socialist Realism” embodied the ideal of the heroic work of the “new man” for progress and communism. The hard-working, con­sci­en­tious workers of General Motors, who collec­tively drive fordist mass pro­duc­tion to ever greater effi­ci­en­cy, are hardly dis­tin­guis­ha­ble from their socialist coun­ter­parts. Then, beginning in the mid-1970s, just as the post-war economic order was expe­ri­en­cing its first major crisis, the strong, enormous male body was replaced by the fit, ‘spandex’-wearing healthy bodies of men and women.

    The first reco­gniz­ab­le star of this new fitness movement was Jane Fonda. She sold millions of her aerobics videos and even promoted the spread of the video recorder in some way. Little by little, a new concept of man was formed once again, this time with slim, fit bodies for a new modern form of economy. The lean, agile company cannot do anything with “heavy” people. The physical inertia attri­bu­t­ed to over­weight people is directly connoted in the post-indus­tri­al economy with a lack of per­for­mance and success.

    Fitness has become a principle that has trans­cen­ded the physique and has also opened up the psyche (resi­li­en­ce, positive psy­cho­lo­gy), rela­ti­ons­hips, the economy and society. There is no slacking, no rest and no ‘enough’. Thus, fitness is inextri­ca­b­ly linked with the com­pul­si­on for economic growth and Max Weber’s Pro­tes­tant spirit of capitalism.

     

    Refe­ren­ces:
    Jürgen Mart­schu­kat: The age of fitness. How the body became a sign of success and performance
    Andreas Reckwitz: The Society of Singularities

     

    Remark to the title: “Fit mach mit” (here: Fitness to work) was the slogan of a campaign to foster a healthier lifestyle by exercise waged by the Austrian Government in the 1970.

    Jane Fona Workout Videos Promo (1988) - Youtube 

    From Dawn to Sunset 1937, Preilinger Archives/Archive.org, Public Domain 

    Arbeiter und Kolchosbauern, Statue Moskau 1939

    Tags

    Fitness to work?

    Konrad Wakolbinger

    Under the topos ‘health’, a comprehensive optimization and enhancement logic is implanted into people. Fitness is one of several influencing factors in establishing innovative, exceptional and performative entrepreneur of oneself.

    Racing bikes, running shoes, yoga mats, gym mem­bers­hips, these are the things that you have to have as a middle-class western indi­vi­du­al. To finish a marathon once a year is a self-imposed obli­ga­ti­on for every ambitious manager. Does there still remain any large company without a fitness program? After all, the health and per­for­mance of our employees is important to us.

    These colossal, steel, muscular hard-grafting bodies within the visual language of “Socialist Realism” embodied the ideal of the heroic work of the “new man” for progress and communism. The hard-working, con­sci­en­tious workers of General Motors, who collec­tively drive fordist mass pro­duc­tion to ever greater effi­ci­en­cy, are hardly dis­tin­guis­ha­ble from their socialist coun­ter­parts. Then, beginning in the mid-1970s, just as the post-war economic order was expe­ri­en­cing its first major crisis, the strong, enormous male body was replaced by the fit, ‘spandex’-wearing healthy bodies of men and women.

    The first reco­gniz­ab­le star of this new fitness movement was Jane Fonda. She sold millions of her aerobics videos and even promoted the spread of the video recorder in some way. Little by little, a new concept of man was formed once again, this time with slim, fit bodies for a new modern form of economy. The lean, agile company cannot do anything with “heavy” people. The physical inertia attri­bu­t­ed to over­weight people is directly connoted in the post-indus­tri­al economy with a lack of per­for­mance and success.

    Fitness has become a principle that has trans­cen­ded the physique and has also opened up the psyche (resi­li­en­ce, positive psy­cho­lo­gy), rela­ti­ons­hips, the economy and society. There is no slacking, no rest and no ‘enough’. Thus, fitness is inextri­ca­b­ly linked with the com­pul­si­on for economic growth and Max Weber’s Pro­tes­tant spirit of capitalism.

     

    Refe­ren­ces:
    Jürgen Mart­schu­kat: The age of fitness. How the body became a sign of success and performance
    Andreas Reckwitz: The Society of Singularities

     

    Remark to the title: “Fit mach mit” (here: Fitness to work) was the slogan of a campaign to foster a healthier lifestyle by exercise waged by the Austrian Government in the 1970.

    Jane Fona Workout Videos Promo (1988) - Youtube

    From Dawn to Sunset 1937, Preilinger Archives/Archive.org, Public Domain

    Arbeiter und Kolchosbauern, Statue Moskau 1939

    Tags


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    About this blog

    By selecting a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. They are both based in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their cor­re­spon­ding articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.

    About this blog

    With picking a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. We both work in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their respec­ti­ve articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.