Arnold Schwarzenegger

'Wir Bodybuilder sind Künstler, nur dass wir statt Hammer und Meißel eben Gewichte benutzen.'

[small]From Spiegel online 06.07.2015 [/small]

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Es gibt ein Buch eines deutschen Philosophen über Sie, in dem Bodybuilding mit Kunst, mit dem Herstellen von Skulpturen verglichen wird. Können Sie das nachvollziehen?

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Ja, ich liebe Kunst, speziell Skulpturen. Ich war in jedem Rodin-Museum der Welt. Und natürlich ist Bodybuilding ein kreativer Vorgang - wenn man keinen Sinn für Kunst hätte, würde man einfach nur riesige Oberschenkel- oder Schultermuskeln aufbauen. Das Ganze hätte keine Harmonie. Als Bodybuilder muss man Visionen haben - wir Bodybuilder sind Künstler, nur dass wir statt Hammer und Meißel eben Gewichte benutzen. Aber solche Sachen sage ich natürlich auch, um Medienaufmerksamkeit zu bekommen: Als ich als lebendiges Kunstwerk im Whitney-Museum vor dieser ganzen High Society posierte, glaubten die mir das sogar, und begannen, über das Verhältnis von Bodybuilding und Kunst nachzudenken.


In 1976, New York's Whitney Museum did some inept but well-intentioned pioneering with a symposium called "Articulate Muscle: The Male Body in Art"—a presentation of three Mr. Universe types as living objects of art. The event was inspired by a book called Pumping Iron, [small][/small]perhaps the first serious book ever written about body building. Its author, novelist and former weight lifter Charles Gaines, helped persuade the Whitney to organize the event and was a member of a panel chosen largely from the academic community to see and discuss the bodies of Frank Zane, Ed Corney and Arnold Schwarzenegger, not in athletic terms but as artists living inside their own creations.

When every available inch of floor space was occupied by sitting bodies—except for a central revolving platform where the musclemen would bare themselves to polite society—Charles Gaines and the professorial panel were introduced.

Zane then mounted the platform. Gaines introduced him as "the most classically symmetrical man in the history of body builders." Zane is square-jawed and handsome, and owns a physique that looks as if someone had magic-wanded a perfect marble statue into flesh. The panelists sat stiffly, their fingers tapping. They took turns talking in a bone-dry style about the role of muscular men in ancient and modern art, history, literature and religion. Some of them were against body building, some of them for it. None of them spent any time talking about or seriously regarding the three human beings the audience had paid to see. The posing was not set to music as it sometimes is, which would have been helpful.

Ed Corney was the second poser. He is known for his style and grace and has, for a man of short stature, one of the most perfectly developed of builds. Corney swung from one remarkable pose to another. If one doesn't accept body building as fine art, posing should at least be considered a performing art.

Then came the star, the man the audience had been waiting for—Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gaines called him "the greatest body builder who ever lived." Schwarzenegger leaped onto the platform in skintight brown briefs, his body shining like the August moon. He was the tallest and biggest of the three, and the most impressive, despite the fact that he has not been in top shape since he retired last November. He drew wild applause when he sailed into a perfect imitation of The Thinker. When he finished posing, he threw up his arms and bounded off the platform while the audience cheered enthusiastically.

The body builders dressed before reappearing to answer the panelists' charges. Unlike the panelists, they had no notes and spoke straight and clear. Maybe because they each carried big sticks—arms and legs—they spoke very softly, even graciously. When Schwarzenegger spoke in his rich Austrian accent, he was glowing with obvious rapture. "I actually feel that I'm in heaven being here tonight," he said. "It is the greatest night of my life." The next day he was more qualified in his praise. He told some of his friends that he had ambivalent feelings about the whole thing. "In a personal sense it was terrific. But in every other way," he said, laughing, "it was a total disaster."