2016, mix media

In the project called Weights, the artist collaborated with a group of young weightlifters training at the Student Sports Club ‘Relaks’ and the Military Sports Club Śląsk Wrocław, both in Oborniki Śląskie. The artist documented training sessions that took place in a gym called ‘Heaven’ by weightlifters and measured the motion of the ground during these sessions outside of the building with a seismograph (at the club, they often say: “if the earth moves, the boys are training in Heaven”).

Besides, the weightlifters produced a series of sculptures from steel bars with their bare hands. The action was inspired by Zishe Breitbart, a Polish Jew, a circus performer and a strongman, known as the strongest man in the world and the Ironking in the 1920s. His superhuman abilities gave rise to the figure of Superman.

In this work, the artist explores the idea of strength – its cult, causative nature, borderline moments and public demonstration. The boys at the club are motivated by the promise of social prestige, respect, acceptance and self-discipline. The artist is both fascinated and terrified by violence ‘strength’ is inextricable from.

Participants: Bartosz Iwański, Patryk Kusztelak, Jacek Grosel
Special thanks to: Wrocław University of Science and Technology / Jacek Grosel, UKS Relaks / Bartosz Iwański, WKS Śląsk Wrocław / Patryk Kusztelak, OSiR Oborniki Śląskie