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Pre-Review for Sink or Swim

September 12, 2012

Thanks to Peter Simek and D-Magazine for giving an insightful prep for the Sink or Swim show.

August 30th, 2012 11:13am

Sink or Swim: BYOBS at the POOL Gallery– August 31, 5-9 p.m. , 3034 Selma, Dallas, TX 75234:

Well, somehow I missed mentioning this yesterday, which is kind of silly considering I ended up having an extended email conversation with an artist friend last week over the merits of the idea of throwing art in a pool and calling it an “alternative space.” That prompted a long reminisence on his part of a failed effort to convince a gallery owner to include a pool as part of the design of a new gallery space. One key distinction: the the art wouldn’t go in the pool:

I felt that opening receptions that frequently took place partly from the pool or poolside, would evoke 1970s Hockney would have immediately made it to the cover of Art Forum.

I was talking about a sustained decadent gallery culture (prior to the economy crashing) – it was not without some irony, but we would have done it had we had the money to do it.

I would very probably not have put art in the pool as this would almost certainly have been kitsch – unless a galley artist had a compelling vision to do so and it seemed like a good idea. The pool would have retained its natural functional sensual purpose.

It would not have been a one-off idea for the sake of finding unlikely venues as a form of post-transgression. I fear this has become a last ditch effort to find ways of making art new – a water-proofed painting in a swimming pool for example. It doesn’t make the painting any better – but it makes for a headline. Yves Kline and Duchamp sort of already covered all the bases with this stuff. I think Schnable once dragged some canvases behind his speed boat to distress them a bit. He also propped up his paintings in his tennis court to get a decent look at them. But that was the eighties, and coming from a paintier who wore gingham table cloths as a makeshift sarong. . . .

[The pool] would have been a practical service to art goers to make for a more sensual gallery experience on a continued basis – much like offering drinks at an opening – it seemed to me reasonable to offer the opportunity of naked, or not, bathing in a secluded art environment. I thought it could have been a liberating and unique experience and I regret not being able to achieve it.

I suspect that the S.C.A.B crowds intent is to tease this kind of post- pseudo-transgression, but I think the word “kitsch” will inevitably float around this stunt nevertheless (pun intended, seems appropriate). As for the Scabers, here’s how they explain it:

SINK or SWIM is a group show displaying artists’ works within the confines of a swimming pool, either sunken, suspended, or floating. So splish, splash and come soak up some art while having fun in the Sun with a sure-to-get-you-wet POOL Gallery show! See brilliance in an all-new sub aquatic paradise. Bring your floaties, flippers, or fins and get soaked because we are making waves with SINK or SWIM!Bring a bathing suit, goggles provided.

Hope you’ve been working on your beach body.

[Full Article]

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