Manifesta 11 Will Feature a Swimming Pool on a Floating Island in Lake Zurich

Don't forget to pack a bathing suit.

Model of 'Pavilon of Reflections'.
Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson
Model of 'Pavilon of Reflections'. Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson

Model of “Pavilion of Reflections.” 
Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson.

A large floating island installed in Switzerland’s Lake Zurich will serve as a presentation platform for the eleventh edition of Manifesta, which opens next summer.

Dubbed the “Pavilion of Reflections,” the artificial island will host an open-air cinema and comes complete with an integrated swimming pool which will remain open during the 100-day run of the nomadic biennial of contemporary art.

“The pavilion will provide space for dialogue and reflection,” said Manifesta 11 curator Christian Jankowski in a statement. “We’ve designed the pavilion as a floating, multifunctional platform with a huge LED screen, bleachers, a swimming pool, and a bar,” the Berlin-based conceptual and media artist added.

“The sensory perception at the very moment of the reception of art will be enhanced by the experience of swimming—without a secure base in the water, exposed to the sun and the rain,” he continued, most likely in jest, we suspect, coming from an artist best known for his humorous video works such as Casting Jesus (2011).

Christian Jankowski is the first artist to be named curator of Manifesta. Photo: sfmoma.org

Christian Jankowski is the first artist to be named curator of Manifesta.
Photo: sfmoma.org.

Zurich’s significant bathing culture dates back to Ancient Roman times, and the city has a large number of communal bathhouses, fondly referred to by locals as badis. But whether or not the international art crowd will warm up to the idea of holding meetings in bathing suits remains to be seen.

Professional inhibitions aside, the island will become “a new temporary landmark” in Zurich, the organizers said on Wednesday.

Model of 'Pavilon of Reflections'. Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson

Model of “Pavilion of Reflections.” 
Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson.

Other Manifesta venues in Zurich include a police station, a bakery, and the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Architecture students at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) are involved with the construction of the artificial island.

Keeping in line with this iteration’s theme, “What People Do For Money: Some Joint Ventures,” the floating pavilion will show films about the formation of jobs created for the Biennale.

Model of 'Pavilon of Reflections'. Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson

Model of “Pavilion of Reflections.”
Photo: © ETH Studio Emerson.

Since 1996, the Manifesta biennialconsidered the third major art show in Europe after the Venice Biennale and Documenta in Kasseltakes place at a different location in Europe every two years, most recently, in 2014, in St. Petersburg.

Manifesta 11 will run for 100 days in Zurich from June 11 – September 18, 2016.


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