A flat, white box, somewhere in the South Californian desert, several hours’ drive from Los Angeles and a considerable walk from the nearest street. An object, vaguely related to the spirit of Minimal Art and Land Art, designed by Alfredo Barsuglia. If the Graz-born artist has anything to do with it, you should spend the time it takes getting to this “Social Pool” contemplating “social values, dream and reality”. When you reach the box, which lies in the middle of the landscape like a flat, white sculpture, you can open it, change into your swimming gear in a recess, and hop into a small tub full of water. A solar-powered filter system is installed to keep the water clean, says the artist.
But is the water refreshing? Does one emerge from the water the same person as before immersing oneself in it? Is the pool relaxing? Hard to tell. The “Social Pool” is, as stated in an ambitious essay on it, a classic combination of the sublime and the ridiculous. Absurd in a way. Yet what is really important is to get the key and the GPS coordinates from the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood before setting off to search for the pool in the desert. Indeed, the pool remains shut to all those who happen upon it by chance and may well be craving its cool waters. Which does not necessarily make the “Social Pool” particularly social after all. In any case, Barsuglia’s pool in the desert can be used from May 1 to September 30. Reservations are not taken. Drinking water, food, sun cream, sunglasses, sturdy footwear and a hat must all be in your own bag.
MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles
835 North Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069
T +1 (323) 651-1510
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