Cinema Piscine

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Last night I went to see an art film installation called Pools… it was a film about a swimmer, and it was screened IN a pool. Like, they actually drained the water and put in a projection screen and a bunch of chairs and we all sat on the bottom of the pool and watched the film.

It’s amazing to me how many people make art about swimming.

We 3 swimmers are all currently drooling over one of our favourite artists, Lisa Congdon’s new illustrated book called The Joy of Swimming, and for many months now, we have been collecting and posting some of our favourite swimming art on our Pinterest board.

Our respective homes have been filling up with new pieces for our collections, and it's an ongoing thrill to see other blogs, like the Jealous Curator, feature some phenomenal swim art. I am currently OBSESSED with the work of Slovakian photographer Mária Svarbová.

The thing about this film I saw last night was that I was actually swimming through someone else's eyes... the artist went to some beautiful pools in London and Finland and Iceland with a GoPro camera strapped to his bathing cap.

And so, through the lens of this other person cutting their way through the blue, I turned my head when he did, I breathed when he did, I bobbed up to see the view of the old lady in the pink bathing suit at the end of the lane when he did. And I marvelled at how different his hands finished his strokes from how I do mine.

There was a little turn of the wrist that I don't do.

He doesn't breathe out bubbles the way I do.

He looks around at the bottom of the pool differently than I do.

It was an interesting experience, this borrowed, goggled viewpoint.

I felt a little seasick by the time the lights went up and I was happy to gulp in the spring night air on my bike ride home. It was then that I realized that it was the first time I have ever been in a public pool without my bathing suit on.*

 * * * * * * * * *

Pierre Tremblay’s Pools, screened at Ryerson University in Toronto on May 4, 2016 

From Lisa Congdon’s The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love For Getting in the Water


From Mária Svarbová’s In Swimming Pool series

 * * * * * * * * *

*Special hat tip to Natalie Roth who invited me to see Pools with her (and for the rousing post-show discussion and observations.)

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