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FITNESS CLIMATE | Madrid slaughterhouse

An exhibition, a gym, a performance, a device, an essay between Maite Borjabad and Common Accounts (Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler), with works by Faysal Altunbozar, Itziar Barrio, Ibiye Camp, Irati Inoriza and Mary Maggic.

From July 7, 2023 to July 28, 2024
Opening: July 6 at 7:00 p.m.

In the context of the climate crisis, the human species is resorting to adaptation practices that imply a radical reconfiguration of the body and daily life. The term climate fitness, used in biology to describe the ability of a species to adjust to climate change, is being appropriated by popular culture to refer to the physical and mental preparation necessary to face the possible catastrophic consequences of environmental collapse. This is argued in the essay Planet Fitness, written by Common Accounts (Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler), which this exhibition expands on. From cosmetic products that seek to protect the skin from the effects of pollution, to communities of survivors training to face possible societal collapse, to diets that promote individual and planetary health, new forms of adaptability are being explored that imply a redefinition depth of the relationship between the body and its environment. But adaptability is not just an individual practice, but a tool for questioning the social and economic structures that led to the climate crisis in the first place, and this redefinition of adaptability cannot occur in a political and social vacuum.

Through the concept of planetarity, the postcolonial philosopher Gayatri Spivak allows us to reformulate the relationship between the human world and the natural in an ecological key but interlinked with social justice and decolonial feminist thought, proposing alternative relational ethical frameworks to globalization. In a global capitalist system, the planet is in the species of otherness, the category of otherness, and therefore belonging to another system. However, we inhabit it as if it were a loan. The notion of fitness serves as a narrative activator in this project in its double meaning. On the one hand, revealing the body as a socially and culturally constructed reality through fitness, understood as physical exercise, together with the training and culture associated with it. On the other hand, recovering and situating the notion from biology that defines the fitness of a species as its ability to adapt to the environment with which it is related. Climate Fitness It is then a place for testing to weave narratives that link from the human body to the planet, and back from it to the ecosystem, which allow us to deal with specific issues such as biopower and its intrinsic relationship with the body and work; the construction of toxic masculinity and its performativity through the fitness; the different uses of training as disciplining mechanisms of the collective body; the historical interrelation between the ambition to control the body and dominate the natural environment; or new rituals of critical adaptability that we can imagine from contemporary reconsiderations of mythology.

In this exercise of redefinition of adaptation mechanisms, of interdependence relationships, of rituals in search of mutualistic instead of extractivist links, the question of the limit of the human being is positioned in the center. But then, where is the limit of the human body and its condition defined? Where does the human being cease to be, a human being? Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley describe in their book are we human?, how the human being is an unstable category. “The human being is not a clearly defined biological organism with a concrete form and with a set of capacities that collaborates in a sociopolitical network to change things around it. On the contrary, the human being is defined by his diversity and his plasticity, his ability to modify his own abilities. And it is this same plasticity, the radical instability of the human being, the basis of its massive impact. The more malleable and indeterminate a species is, the greater the impact. Because by redesigning itself, it redesigns the planet.”

Resisting comfortable pessimism, which resigns itself to enunciating the ecological debacle at such a level of systemic complexity where the self hardly seems to have any agency anymore, Climate Fitness proposes an essay in critical thinking that is generative and purposeful, intervening in those diffuse and malleable limits of an adaptive, mutant and symbiotic capacity. Operating from the interrelationships and learnings of postmodern ecology, ecofeminist theories, biology or speculative fabrication, this project embarks on activating and thinking from some (of the many) critical interactions that shape our world and interspecies entanglements. That composes. Climate Fitness it is an exhibition, it is a gym, it is a performance, it is a device, it is an essay. It is a meeting in constant evolution that invites us to decode ourselves, to think collectively, to think of ourselves as an individual, to situate ourselves in the contemporary moment, and re-situate ourselves to find agency, agency of change and planetary affection. Understand the limits and inexorable flows between our body and the planet we inhabit and redefine them from mutuality.

—Maite Borjabad

Climate Fitness is the inaugural exhibition that starts and places a choral program that will be developed through various formats and alliances, among which are a call for video art and another for research projects, a critical studies seminar, a series of activations and conferences . Symbiosis and the search for contact zones between architecture and art, between architects and artists, has played a fundamental role, cyclically, in the Intermediae programme. With the inauguration of Climate Fitness, Intermediae continues to be in charge of the spatial activation of Nave 17, producing projects that expand the work of architecture and use it as a bridge, an alibi and a refuge to accommodate art of a more social nature, while at the same time turning this Matadero warehouse in a public space that defies the logic of speculation and spectacle. On this occasion, it gives space for an urgent and complex reflection to generate alternative narratives or imaginaries in the context of the current social and environmental crisis.

Clima Fitness is curated by Maite Borjabadarticulated by the spatial installation conceived by Common Accounts (Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler) who expands his essay Planet Fitness (2019), and houses works by Faysal Altunbozar, Itziar Neighborhood, Ibiye Camp, Irati Inoriza, Mary Maggic. Organized by Intermediae Matadero Madrid.

The execution of the space installation has been in charge of Andrea Muniáin and the lighting design by Oscila Estudio. The installation has been produced by the company ArtWorks, the audiovisual service is provided by the company ZenitAudio, the assembly of the exhibited works has been carried out by the company Ademobe Make. The graphic identity of the project has been made by Kiwi Bravo.

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