The swimming pool

June 28th, 1977, ‘Dov’è la tigre’ Art Gallery, Milan

I wasn’t ready to fly with fins.

For three months I perfected my ‘butterfly’stroke as best I could, given my age. I bought one of the largest swimming pools available on the market, assembled it in the ‘Dov’è la tigre’ Gallery and filled it with water. During the show, I swam ‘butterfly’ nonstop for an hour, astonishing the art crowd with my physical endurance. Later, one of the people present wrote to ‘Corriere della Sera’ nominating me as founder of a new competitive sport.

Technical data

– pool size: 12x5x1,20 meters;

– gallery size: 17 x 8 x 7 meters;

– water volume: 60 m³;

– water temperature: 16° C;

– action: the artist swam butterfly stroke, nonstop for an hour.

At the beginning and the end of the swim, the lights were turned off and slides projected to illuminate the pool and the artist. A music tape of music by Bill Viola, Ambrogio Galbiati and Alzek Misheff accompanied the swim. The artist got cramps almost immediately because the water was cold, but luckily nobody noticed it except the artist himself. Two boys held up signs indicating the number of laps and the respective meters. The audience protected itself from the artist’s splashes as best as it could.

To make up for this, after the performance, 20 kilos of Bulgarian beans were served[1].

[1] Misheff, A., My lies, Milan, Dov’è la tigre ed., 1979.