Leandro Erlich is known for installations that seem to defy the basic laws of physics and befuddle the viewer, who is introduced into jarring environments that momentarily threaten a sense of balance or space. For this exhibition, Erlich presents one of his most well-known and critically acclaimed pieces, Swimming Pool.
Speaking about the project, Erlich says:
“When I first visited P.S.1, I remember thinking how perfect the Duplex space would be for the installation of Swimming Pool. This space divided the experience of seeing the work perfectly, and in the correct order. Almost ten years since its creation, Swimming Pool is finally in the exhibition space for which I have always felt is so perfectly suited.”
Erlich has constructed a full-size pool, complete with all its trappings, including a deck and a ladder. When approached from the first floor, visitors are confronted with a surreal scene: people, fully clothed, can be seen standing, walking, and breathing beneath the surface of the water. It is only when visitors enter the Duplex gallery from the basement that they recognize that the pool is empty, its construction a visual trick fashioned by the artist. A large, continuous piece of acrylic spans the pool and suspends water above it, creating the illusion of a standard swimming pool that is both disorienting and humorous.
Hey, do you like living in a swimming pool?