Jane Fonda’s Original Workout / “Flex” Factory
Ever since 2016, I have done Jane Fonda’s Original Workout (the best-selling VHS of all time) almost every day. In an era where women were discouraged from exercising and gyms were dominated by men, Jane Fonda’s Original Workout (1982) was groundbreaking. It popularized fitness for women (as well as a neon spandex fashion craze), and the proceeds supported leftist political organizations. During my residencies at Vermont Studio Center, The Wassaic Project, and Oxbow School of Art, I made Jane Fonda’s Original Workout into a daily happening, and invited residents and staff to participate in this iconic aerobic ritual. In the heyday of Equinox, Class Pass, and the disgustingly remunerative Cult of Health, Jane Fonda’s Original Workout functions as a free, silly, and moderate group workout that only requires a towel. The workout attracted a heterogenous group of residents, including Cheryl R. Riley, who actually did Jane Fonda’s workout with Jane Fonda in the 80’s. In 2019, I was asked to lead Jane Fonda’s Original Workout (advertised as a “queer comedic fitness demo”) at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, NY as part of Flux Takeover!