Chapter II

Carl Berner Projektrom

21.06.24 - 15.12.24

Piscine Municipale (French for public swimming pool) presents a site-specific multi-sensory installation inspired by the gallery’s underground environment. The architectural elements and objects relating to swimming pools have been deprived of their intended functions and only the absence of water remains.  In this uncanny scenography, the human flow in the subway station becomes part of the exhibition as a rhythmic activation of the otherwise seemingly abandoned swimming pool. Through a narrated fantasy, the boundary between flow and stillness, becomes fluid – like water.

The atmosphere in Piscine Municipale reveals ceramic as the exhibition’s predominant material through a combination of hand-crafted tiles and recycled industrial bricks, whose glazed palette tones explore deterioration inspired by underwater depth and water behavior. The aesthetic has the hypnotic power to induce a scent of chlorine recalling, for many, a nostalgic intoxication.

The exhibition’s audio journey, accessible here, dives into a 6 minutes guided visualization set within the backdrop of a swimming pool. Through listening to this simple narration while standing present, Ballage’s piece appeals for a gentle intermission, suspending the subway’s transit tempo into a contemplative pause.

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