Nicolo Gentile BFA Thesis Fall 2013

Just Do It, Already: Exercises in the Performance of Health and Masculinity

Just Do It, Already suggests that we can usefully approach the demystification of the ideologies of masculinity and health through the language of athletic discipline and weight training programs. Through the synecdochic trope in which muscles of the body and the environmental pressures imposed upon them in athletic conditioning are compared with the body and the social pressures of gender constitution and health obligations imposed upon it in ideological structures, congruent operations and their consequent effects may be isolated, critically engaged, and challenged. These operations include repetition, rupture and repair and are the processes through which both muscles of the body and the body undergo growth and development to adapt in relation to external pressures. The awareness of these practices and the body’s engagement with them are critical tools to reject oppressive expectations of masculinity and fitness and further inscription to hegemonic institutions of gender and health.

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Fall 2013