Danna Vitorino is a photographer and visual artist, who lives and works in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her series “Musculosas” explores the relationship between muscularity & femininity, breaking the norms around the idea that strength and power belong exclusively to a male domain.
Some women lift a double weight, the one of the dumbbells and the one of the barriers that delimit the power. The muscles grow patiently as they listen to the annoying murmur of a society that doesn’t always understand their ambition. It’s like walking an arduous path of mud and stones. The body of muscular women discovers a different way to occupy space, imposes a new way of perceiving femininity. A femininity that swells the arms, enlarges the back and contains a lot of iron wandering through the veins. This bodily ambiguity interferes with our shared notions of gender, of what it is like to be a woman. Curiosity invades and the question appears: Why is it like this?
The questions can lead to many conjectures and theories, the vast majority will make us discuss about biology, stereotypes and social ties that surround our relationship with others. I am interested in something in particular: the body as a work of art. When we perceive a painting or a photograph, for example, our emotions, subjectivities and personal stories emerge. The body says a lot about the person who lives in it. In the case of Agustina, the first thing that comes to my mind is strength, but not just any strength, one that symbolizes and represents all we have achieved as women in the last century and what we still have to fight for in the present.
I think that if there is something that I like more than seeing women follow their desire and carry on, is the interpellation that this action provokes in others. Let’s pay attention to what moves us because that’s where the secret lies: satisfying our curiosity is to understand reality better and that is part of making art as well. That is why I think that, ultimately, Agustina makes her body a work of art, sculpted in a gym between sweat and sports supplements to finally deliver it to us in that daily exhibition that is living in society.