Zumba and Goliath was an exhibition (co-curated with Dylan Statham) at Techno Park Gallery in Williamstown, from May 22 — June 8 2010. Our predominant jumping-off point was the upstart Latin dance-inspired fitness program, Zumba. Are aerobics trends a bellwether for (or tail-end of) ‘super reduced’ cultural exchange? [Or: Do participating artists read the onesheet when invited to a group show?]
Some highlights: Ben Coonley’s Valentine for Perfect Strangers, as perfect a video that Youtube could serve, by itself in an internal room with a knockoff Barcelona, so it’s almost like a dating agency viewing room. [Meaning to] hit plum pips (not in season) into the Williamstown River with Nick Selenitsch’s square neo-geo badminton racquet. Holly’s HSC certificate, in a bottle, on a necklace, ready to wear.
In 1986, Perez forgot his tape of aerobics music for a class he was teaching. He took the tapes he had in his backpack—consisting of traditional Latin salsa and merengue music—and improvised a class using this non-traditional aerobics music.
– Origins of Zumba
// see the sub-site for photographs of the exhibition
Shakira’s Colombian choreographer Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez is the inspiration behind this group exhibition. When not creating belly dances for the singer whose ‘breasts are small and humble’, Beto decided that the maraca was not an instrument. No, it was a ‘fitness toning stick’ to be used in his dance fitness program Zumba, a hybrid of Latin dancing and aerobics.
The artists participating in Zumba & Goliath – including James Deutscher and Brooklyn video artist Ben Coonley – have used this notion of cultural ingenuity and re-contextualisation to inform their own practices, with their work being displayed alongside selected artefacts that exemplify the process undergone.
The opening will feature a rare performance by seminal Melbourne electronic outfit The Metronomes, and if you bring stone fruit pips along Nick Selenitsch will be hitting them into the river with a bamboo tennis racquet as part of his work for the show.
— Rachel Elliot-Jones