Body building is a piece that, within the field of the art documentary, approaches the notions of the public and the private, the intimate and the obscene. Gabriel Villota Toyos mixes here audiovisual material out of different sources, and presents us with various points of view from televisions around the world, as well as from video works by other artists.
Working like a video-jockey mixing completely different videos without hesitation, Villota Toyos offers us in this piece television programmes of various types and channels. There are fashion programmes, news stories, music programmes, advertising, pornography, classic films and, amidst this mix, artists’ works and philosophical quotes. The piece presents a plural look at our society and its relation to the public and the private. We go from Claudia Shiffer to the Spanish royal family, from Jerry Springer to Guy Debord, from a soap ad to televised porn, and at the same time we read, in sociological terms, the art work of people like, for example, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Sergio Prego, Itziar Okariz or Jon Mikel Euba.
This is an excellent treatment of themes that are central in contemporary society, where the border between the public and the private has become mediated by economy and mass communication. Villota Toyos shows us this clearly, and, at the same time, due to his vast knowledge of the history of the image, video and television (which we can appreciate in this work as well as in his Devenir Video (adiós a todo eso) / Becoming Video (good bye to all of that), he manages to enrich the reading that we make of the mass media.
Villota Toyos holds a PhD in audiovisual communication and a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts. His work combines theory and practice, where the art works become spaces from which to question reality.
Within less than one hour Body Building offers us a sort of television zapping through the hottest subjects of the moment: from the obsession with physical beauty to racism in the cinema, from the meaning of public figures to a questioning of the nature of obscenity.