Swimming Pool

Artistic installation by Leandro Erlich

Cover photo of the article "The swimming pool"

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Innovations and curiosities

Published on

31 December 2019

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (金沢21世紀美術館, Kanazawa Nijūichiseiki Bijutsukan) opened in 2004 in downtown Kanazawa, just a few steps from Kenrokuen. It exhibits works of acclaimed contemporary artists from Japan and all over the world, and is among Japan’s most popular art museums.
The museum was designed by the famous Japanese architects, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the SANAA studio and Pritzker prize winners in 2010.

The architecture of the 21st Century Museum is unique and distinguishes it from other museums and buildings around Kanazawa. The museum is comprised of a circular building, 112.5 meters in diameter, with no facade or main entrance. It was designed without a front or back to discourage its patrons from approaching the museum, and consequently its art, from only one direction.
Some artistic installations are interspersed between the spaces of the museum, these works act as “Swimming Pool” by Leandro Erlich.

Photo "Swimming Pool" by Leandro Erlich

Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich created an illusory swimming pool that seems to be filled with water. Installed as a permanent exhibit at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, the water in the pool is actually only 10 cm shallow, supported by a thick layer of transparent glass. 

"Swimming Pool" by Leandro Erlich - Installation at the Museum of 21st Century Contemporary Art in downtown Kanazawa

Below there is a room of water that spectators can access, inviting a shared experience of wonder in the space built both from above and below. In his work, Erlich plays with perception and assumption in an exploration of “ways in which we understand phenomena, enter into relationship with spaces and grasp reality”.

And when you look up you can see other museum explorers through the ceiling of water and glass.

"Swimming Pool" by Leandro Erlich - Installation at the Museum of 21st Century Contemporary Art in downtown Kanazawa

I hope the experience of this show would help people notice and realize a fact: how our habits and/or actions taken subconsciously, in fact, shape our behaviors, and how stereotyped images endure beyond perception.
I believe it would provide a catalyst for each one of them to take a fresh look at what is actually happening around us and wonder, “Is there more than one reality?”

Leandro ERLICH

Leandro ERLICH
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1973. Lives there. Through artworks that undermine the human senses, Leandro Erlich explores the ways we understand phenomena, enter into relationships with spaces, and grasp reality. Erlich’s works investigate perception and cognition not with the rigor of scientific experimentation but with rich humor and wit, in a dimension of trompe-l’oeil. The works relax relationships among viewers experiencing them together and produce a place they can share.

All images © courtesy of Leandro Erlich    //   http://www.leandroerlich.art/

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