«Las bañistas» tries to document what happens in different indoor pools. Public swimming pools are a portrait of the people who live in the city, they represent their moral values, and in the case of Berlin they show an open mind about nudism or sexuality. An example of this is the Neukölln swimming pool which is only open on Mondays for women’s bathing. This is because it takes into account the Turkish community, whose women feel better bathing without men around, on the other hand this pool opens for nudist bathing only for women from 8 to 10 p.m and thus fulfills another of the wishes of the citizens, ideas that come from the previous East
One of the aspects that makes it peculiar is the lack of distinction, the ambiguity between equals – all women are bathers from the moment we enter until the moment we leave and act as such in this small submerged city, Berlin. The stripping of our clothes means that we are not recognised in any style, nor are we framed in any social stratum to which our clothing may suggest we belong. Thus, we find ourselves before a space where there is no distinction, but where women of all ages come together, with different interests and motivations that, were it not for their love of swimming, possibly would not share that space-time. The met in the changing room which is a singular and neutral space, where a calm and trusting atmosphere is generated, which arises from sharing it with people of the same sex.
The purpose of the project is to observe and document what happens there with the aim of showing and preserving one of the few women-only spaces that remain in today’s society. The documentation has been carried out by means of small pinhole cameras that will mimic themselves in swimming objects, in this way the intention is to document these situations in the most natural way. The second part of the project is to rent the main hall of the swimming pool in Neukölln bader and record a film with the selected swimmers. This video will depict those fleeting and furtive scenes that escape from the camera when you try to photograph.
About Laura Palau
Laura Palau graduated in Fine Arts from the Universitat Politècnica de València in 2015 and she developed her work in this city until 2018. From her stay in Valencia, her work was directed towards installation and photography, making this binomial her means of expression par excellence. Her work proposes a reflection that materializes in the photographic execution and takes various forms (installations, interventions, paintings and the construction of objects) to expose, and question, the excessive credibility that we deposit in the image. She currently lives and works in Berlin where she prepares her next exhibitions in Palma Festival Caen, France.