• Paola Napolitano

Join us on Friday 6th October from 6-9pm for the Opening of the exhibition Scenarios of the Pool by

A swimming pool is a recreational facility with a very familiar and repetitive typology, standard dimensions, service rooms and always built for the same purpose. Marc Auge described these interchangeable spaces as non-places, which appear to have no historical, geographical or cultural distinctiveness, other than the one of their designated purpose (like airports, hotels and shopping malls, swimming pools could also be located anywhere). Being such a standardized model in a technological sense, a pool is an ideal architectural prototype, maybe even as abstract as architecture can get. Precisely because of this quality, a pool - contrary to how Auge defined the contested category of non-place - has a great potential to create memories of a place and to be explored as a situation. Often a symbol of leisure and relaxation, sometimes of health and wellbeing (in its true sense), a pool facilitates social contact and interaction, somehow enabling physical exposure and intimacy at the same time. Once we enter the area of the pool, an unspoken social contract is activated. Suddenly, it becomes ok that we are showing much more skin, and all conversations are patinated with a special colloquial tone. It frames a fluctuating activity into a rectangular shape, imitating a natural occurrence while being entirely artificial; with water as a main protagonist, it allows us to rest our eyes and bodies on its surface. In some of the things outlined above, a swimming pool is much like an exhibition space or a stage, especially in its potential to add particular meanings to things said and done within its constraints. Scenarios of the Pool explores this potential; it looks at the possibility of a stage as a place of leisure, juxtaposed to the spatial qualitiy of the pool as a vessel. Events that are part of 'Scenarios of the Pool' series were conceived with an idea to look at architecture as a curatorial subject and to explore various modes of architectural representation. Three consecutive parts of the project are, chronologically, a workshop, a performance and an exhibition, focusing on the swimming pool as a uniqure architectural model, both as a case-study (curatorial subject) and an environment (exhibition space). The project considers the role of human body and action as tools for measuring, and thus representing spaces. The final part of Scenarios of the Pool takes place from 6-8 October et Enclave Lab in Deptford. The project was developed in collaboration between the curator Natalija Paunic and artists Lea Collet & Marios Stamatis. The exhibition is a response to the preceding live performance which took place on October 1st at Pioneer Health Center in Peckham.

Written by Natalija Paunic

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