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Charli & The Factory
Buskerud Kuntsenter
Drammen (DE)

in collaboration with

Charli & The Factory collages the labor paradigms of late mediaeval era with contemporary fitness culture. The project expands on themes local to the Days project from the beginning: what out-moded models of labor from the past can we learn from? While the forms of soap opera and the mediaeval guild system for crafts people are highly problematic, these models also present modes of solidarity and collaboration that feel lacking in the contemporary profit-driven landscape of the culture class. Trompe-l'œil mirror paintings of characters from the game and movie universe "Transformers" take so-called "progress selfies" within gothic architectural environments. Henry Moore-inspired inflatable textile sculptures work out rather than reclining. An animated film centres around the journalist character Charli, writing an article about a mysterious FitWatch programmed to make sure that people achieve their set personal goals at all costs.

The fitness studio, in one light, is a space that turns the paradigm of paid labor on its head. Imagine individuals paying for an aerobics class, which, unbeknownst to them, entails performing the physical labor of a moving company. In this scenario, paying clients find themselves engaged in the task of moving someone else's boxes up five flights of stairs, ultimately resulting in the moving company profiting doubly from their efforts. Despite the inherent irony in this arrangement, it is doubtful that individuals would be dissuaded from paying for such a class. Similarly, we accept that our identity and person has become a commodity traded in a highly capitalist market—no one likes Meta but we still use it.

Read more on Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard & Zayne Armstrong’s website
Images by  Øystein Thorvaldsen
© 2023 Ellinor Aurora Aasgaard