Effort! We Cried
After years of exploring aspects of cultural femininity in my work, last year I was forced by a joint condition to enter the hyper-masculine world of weightlifting. Left alone, my body is too bendy, too pliant, too willing to alter itself to its surroundings. Too feminine. In the clanging, grunting atmosphere of the bodybuilding gym, footage from the documentary Pumping Iron played on a TV. Arnold Schwarzenegger, gurning with effort in 1975, moving mountains of weight with his hands. Mr Olympia is not pliant, he does not bend to his surroundings, he forces that which is around him to change. "Effort!" we cried, and returned to training.