Although also a renowned photographer, the Belgian artist Marie-Jo Lafontaine is most famous for her video-installations, among which 'Les Larmes d'Acier', which was first exhibited at the seminal 'Documenta 8' in Kassel in 1987, is considered by many to be her penultimate masterpiece. In its monumentality, the work discusses issues of sexuality and death, passion and violence. On 27 monitors embedded within a monumental, altar-like wall, beautiful, young athletes work out to bombastic classical music. Like religious ecstasy,extreme fitness training is about exploring and transcending one's physical limitations. In Lafontaine's installation, the metal structure of the training apparatus becomes a mechanism of torture leading to martyrdom. The cold steel of the apparatus mirrors the intense facial expression of the model and his own 'muscles of steel'. Man and machine become as one. The music, Bellini's 'Casta Diva' sung by Maria Callas, is a kind of 'mechanical ballet'. Agony is transformed into ecstasy; the climax of the music is coupled by the heightened, concentrated physical exertion of the model, culminating in an orgasmic climax of passion and the beauty of brute physical strength.