Sylvie Fleury talks about re-presenting her work Lean Routine... for The Nineties at Frieze London 2016
Lean Routine or How to Lose 30 Pounds in Under 3 weeks was first shown in 1992 at Postmasters Gallery in New York, with Modulateur Ombres et Lumières, Welcome to the World of Chanel Beauty - a wall painting consisting of four shades of cosmetics made to perfect skin tone. At Aperto ’93 in Venice, the monitor installation was shown again with an “Egoïste” wall painting, painted without a computer’s help, as a backdrop. That - and the the pungent smell of a Damian Hirst tank…
The work-outs featured in the piece were hip. I selected them a bit like a curator would. I was interested in readymade videos, and chose from what was available and current. Famous models and movie stars like Jane Fonda - but also Cindy Crawford, Elle McPherson, Raquel Welch and Cher - were selling their recipes for a great figure. I was already creating “Scatter" type of environments, using ready-made objects and videos. Jane Fonda’s stepper was the latest accessory and I wanted to make one in bronze, but I didn’t produce this until 2015.
Visitors with Sylvie Fleury's Legs Body and Mind at Mehdi Chouakri / Salon 94 / Sprüth Magers stand in The Nineties at Frieze London 2016. Photo: Kris Emmerson
I was interested in the excruciating efforts strong women were doing to be stronger, opposing an “effortless” self-presentation. Nowadays, workout trends seem to converge more towards relaxation, re-alignment of the body, or affecting some levels of consciousness. As for the TV monitors: they have drastically lost weight and volume, only to render sharper images.
What is my impression of The Nineties as a section? Time does not exist, and I have no interest in my own chronology. It’s always good to be in London surrounded with friends and see some good art. If you want to ask about the difference between the art world then and the art world now, let me tell you: for the launch of my latest catalogue, which took place Thursday in the Frieze Reading Room, we printed a tote bag. It says on it: 'Yes to All'! I think it’s the best answer.