On Now

Feasting on Famine

Production Company | Radical System Art
Created by | Shay Kuebler

One man’s journey through the extremes of body building and health fitness exploring the symmetry between the human body, the corporation and the excess of capitalism in a world where one man consumes the daily caloric intake of a family of five.

From the creator:

“This solo work has been marinating (of course had to use a food metaphor) for a couple of years now. The initial concept grew from my time training at local gyms and fitness centers. At this point in my life, I had amassed a few injuries and “soft tissue” (love that term) traumas. My goal at the gym was to help heal my body and prepare it for projects in the future.

After training for a little while, my body became stronger and more efficient. The physical changes lead to a decrease in mental stress and also, what I believed to be, an increase in cognitive function. It was at this point where I noticed a greater shift with my perspective.

I began to obsess over what I was putting into my body before and after I would train. Supplements became a version of oil, coolant and jet fuel for my body. I was researching different approaches to training for speed, strength, flexibility and the types of supplements that would support greater ligament, muscular and overall body health.  From this point of research and investigation, I began to query into numerous forms of training as well as the athletes that utilized them including and, most relevant to this project, bodybuilders. It was bodybuilding that made me see the darker side of the sports-health industry and, inversely, recognize my own obsession as a physical performer and artist. This research made me question the ethics and morality of health and fitness as a business (a very big business) and, furthermore, examine how the industry is misrepresenting and framing – staging – our expectations of what health and fitness should look like.”

Thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and The City of Vancouver for their support of this project.