Jesse Aron Green: Ärztliche Zimmergymnastik

, University Research Gallery, University Teaching Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
  • das Aufschreibersystem (5/14; p. 22; In Human Words)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (5/12, p. 155; In Bed)
  • Clasping of the hands & extending them behind
  • Unequal deep breathing
  • Striking to the sides
  • Striking downward
  • Bringing of the arms together
  • Raising of the body
  • Twisting of the legs
  • Raising of the knees to the front
  • Squatting motion with the heels held together
  • Raising of a stick over the head & behind the back
  • Mowing motion with the arms
  • Waving of the legs backward & forward
  • das Aufschreibersystem (4/5; p. 202, Why Do You Not Shit?)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (4/1; p. 61; Eternal Jew)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (7/32; p. 141; Divine Miracles)
  • Circling of the head
  • Raising of the arms outward from the sides
  • Striking forward
  • Striking backward
  • Throwing of the arms outward
  • Figure eight movement with the hands
  • Circling of the legs
  • Drawing of the legs together
  • Stretching & bending of the knees to the front
  • Walking with a stick held behind the back
  • Swinging of the arms forward & backward
  • Sawing motion with the arms
  • Incomplete and Open 3/3
  • Raising of the shoulders
  • Turning of the body from side to side
  • Stretching & bending of the knees to the back
  • Pointing & flexing of the feet
  • Trotting motion on the points of the feet
  • Stepping over a stick
  • Rolling on the back
  • The Future of My Nervous Illness (after FGT)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (11/1; p. 69; My Earlier Life)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (3/3; p. 156; Voluptuousness)
  • Turning of the head from side to side
  • Circling of the arms
  • Bending & stretching of the fingers
  • Circling of the body
  • Hoeing motion with the arms & the torso
  • Waving of the legs from side to side
  • das Aufschreibersystem (8/25; p. 143, Compression of the Chest)
  • The Future of My Nervous Illness (after FGT)
  • Incomplete and Open 3/1
  • das Aufschreibersystem (6/5; p. 60, Unmanning)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (9/1; p. 123; The Writing Down System)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (10/1; p. 18; Female Genital Drawing)
  • das Aufschreibersystem (6/19; p. 192, The Sounds)
  • Throwing of the elbows backwards
  • Striking upward
  • Twisting of the arms
  • Rubbing of the hands
  • Bending of the body forward & backward
  • Bending of the body to the sides
  • Raising of the legs to the sides
  • Swinging of the arms from side to side
  • Minimal Differences (Grid / Stack / Diagram / Index)
  • Incomplete and Open 3/2
University Research Gallery, University Teaching Gallery, Harvard Art Museums

Jesse Aron Green’s celebrated multi-component installation Ärztliche Zimmergymnastik comprises an 80-minute projected video and associated sculptural and photographic works and drawings, all of which were recently acquired by the Harvard Art Museums. This marks the first time the installation is presented in its entirety. The installation takes as its point of departure a book also titled Ärztliche Zimmergymnastik (Medicalized Indoor Gymnastics) by German physician Dr. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber (1808–1861). Schreber’s 1858 publication was a popular manual of exercises prescribed for “the maintenance of health and vigor of body and mind.” Green’s installation elegantly and provocatively explores cultural tropes and ideologies of the disciplined body through the lens of modernist art—its operations and its legacies.

Green’s video presents the 45 exercises explained in Schreber’s book, enacted by 16 male performers on wooden platforms arranged as a 4 × 4 grid. The camera documents their movements in a 360-degree tracking shot, which ends at the same moment the performers finish the exercises. A series of photographs that document each of the 45 exercises, drawings, three concrete sculptures, 16 wooden platforms, and a 24-hour backwards-moving clock in homage to Felix Gonzalez-Torres are also included.

Green received his A.B. from Harvard College in 2002 and his M.F.A. from UCLA in 2008. His work has been celebrated with exhibitions around the world, at such institutions as the Tate Modern; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; the Bologna Museum of Modern Art; the Center for Contemporary Art, in Warsaw; Halle 14, in Leipzig; and many others. He lives and works in Boston.

This installation of Jesse Aron Green’s Ärztliche Zimmergymnastik is curated by John Hulsey, a Ph.D. candidate in Harvard’s Film and Visual Studies Program and a curatorial intern in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums. The exhibition is made possible by support from the Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation and the José Soriano Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.