The Pool is an architecture exhibition that represents the connection between landscape, culture and architecture as observed through the frame of a singular architectural and landscape typology – the swimming pool.
As the 2016 Australian exhibition at the prestigious Venice Architecture Biennale, The Pool offers a lens through which to explore Australian cultural identity through an exploration of the pools of Australia – natural or manmade, inland or coastal, temporary or permanent.
The Pool is a fresh and joyful exhibition that extends the practice and thinking of architecture, offering a celebratory and accessible conversation about the ways in which pools as places affect us both socially and culturally. Pools are levellers of age, background, education and commitment.
The exhibition, consisting of a functioning pool, invites visitors to ‘take a dip’ inside the gallery. Complemented by multimedia and audio content the exhibition provides insights into the pool as a setting for cultural exchange, including stories of segregation, competition, sustainability and survival.
The exhibition also explores important pools of Australia through a series of ‘lanes’, a playful reference to the eight competition lanes that make up the standard Olympic pool, eight public personas, tell their stories of architecture and culture:
– Giving of Life (Tim Flannery)
– Bodies of Water (Ian Thorpe)
– Childhood Memories (Romance Was Born)
– Other Worlds (Christos Tsiolkas)
– Public Dreaming (Anna Funder)
– Contested Space (Hetti Perkins)
– Theatre of Competition (Shane Gould)
– Deeper Water (Paul Kelly)
The Pool is co-curated by Isabelle Toland, Amelia Holliday and Michelle Tabet and was originally commissioned for the Venice Architecture Biennale by the Australian Institute of Architects.