Ulah Tanah




‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ is an extraordinary fitness centre! First and foremost, it uses clay rooftiles, rather than cast iron, as weights for the machines. “Why roof tiles?”. Well, there are lots of answers to that question. From “Why not?!” to the more elaborated “Because roof tiles are heavy, beautiful and unique!” As this point, you might start to overthink it, like “Unique, sure, I can see that. But beautiful? Really? How?”

For those of you who usually train and build their bodies at a fitness centre, ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ is a gallery that showcases equipment usually found in fitness centres, but with a earthy twist. Since roof tiles are made of clay, and therefore easily breakable, you’ll need to practice patience and care when operating the machines. In a way, in this fitness centre you also train your sensibility towards an object. Other than that, all the ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ machines function in the same way as your usual gym equipment, but only a certain period of time. In fact, the state of being unique is not made to last forever, right? So you’re lucky you get to try out these unique machines!

For roof tiles sellers, ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ isn’t any different from a person wanting to build a mosque. Both only use a tiny amount of rooftiles—nothing compared to the amount used in the development of hospitals, schools or housing estates. However, for roof tiles sellers, “building” a fitness centre is definitely an extraordinary, mischievous thing to do! They might ask: “Have the founders of ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ lost their minds?”, “Are they crazy?”, “It must surely be entertaining for them.”, or: “Roof tiles usually protect buildings from sun or heavy rain, but apparently, they can now do something else: they can shape a body—not only the bodies of those making tiles, but anyone willing to lift them.

Most of you know this space as a gallery named RUCI Art Space. It have now transformed into a fitness centre. To refer back to the start of this text, the second reason why ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ is extraordinary because it challenges us to doubt, interrogate, and become aware of the spaces and surroundings we live in. To grasp the complexities of meanings and imagine the vast range of possible interpretations of images, we need to consider the people and kinships that have been involved in bringing this centre to life. Togar, an artist; Grace, a curator; Arief, one of the founders of Jatiwangi art Factory, the place where all the mischief began; and RUCI Art Space, a gallery that didn’t hesitate to change its function (albeit temporarily) to a fitness centre. ‘Super Baday Fitness Centre’ challenges the dominant logic of exhibition spaces, stages, creators, artists, audiences, participants and the public in an endless production cycle of images and meanings.

Mens sana in corpore sano!