Maider Lopez’s artwork Moving Plants consist of 150 movable green pot plants in different sizes that have been hung from the roof and installed on benches that run along the panoramic windows at the indoor swimming pool in Hammarkullen, some ten kilometers northeast of central Gothenburg. The plants can be grouped in different ways. The leaves can completely obscure parts of the public swimming pool’s windows or open it up to the surroundings. It is an interactive work that invites participation.
A group of women has saved the public indoor swimming pool from demolition. Together with the artist Maider Lopez, they initiated the artistic design process as part of the building’s renovation before any architects or planners were involved, thus succeeding in getting their collaboration with a specific artist written into the procurement documents by the architect and contractor, who then had to base their work on a specific artistic vision. Using color and playfulness, Maider Lopez has often worked performatively in creating temporary communities, and has thus made visible and questioned our view of what the norm is. This was precisely what the women in Hammarkullen wanted to get at. For them the public pool was a place where they could meet and socialize in a secure environment. They wanted to make sure that that would stay the same after the renovations were completed. With her artwork, Maider Lopez harnesses the women’s stories about the public pool as an important part of their everyday lives, as well as their reflections on transparency, insight and outlooks, on what creates a safe space, and their desire to introduce more greenery into the building from the nature outside.
For the women who saved their pool from demolition, as well as for the neighborhood, the property owner, the organization, the Public Art Agency, and —not least—the artist, the project has been about finding a way for social values and artistic integrity to be ensured in, and coexist with, a building project that has to happen quickly, economically, and in accordance with the modern regulations and demands of accessibility that are involved in adapting a public indoor swimming pool from the 1960s into a modern establishment.
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Hammarkullen, Göteborg, Sverige