Artist Nicolas Lobo, whose exhibition, The Leisure Pit, is on view, introduces "The Swimmer" (1968), a surreal drama of existential wealth and wane in the suburbs starring Burt Lancaster and based on John Cheever's classic 1964 short story.
"The Swimmer" (1968)
On a summer afternoon in suburban Connecticut, adman Ned Merrill inexplicably finds himself eight miles from home, dressed only in swimming trunks. To demonstrate his athletic vigor despite the advent of middle age and on an impulse, Ned decides to swim across the county, from pool to pool, until he gets home. During his journey from one neighbor's pool to another, he gradually confronts the sorry facts of his present existence. Everywhere Ned goes, he is met by hostility and is taunted about his failures--his marriage, his unloving daughters, his inability to face reality, his recent financial troubles. Finally, shivering in the rain and shaken by the succession of ego-shattering attacks, Ned arrives home and for the first time he seems able to face the reality of what his life has become.
The Leisure Pit is a site-based installation encompassing a group of mixed-media sculptures, which the artist cast inside a swimming pool using an experimental process. The ensemble relates to Lobo's interest in the intersections among cultural, technological, and corporeal systems of consumption. By turning a swimming pool—the epitome of affluent suburban recreation—into a facility for industrial manufacture, Lobo points to the demands of private leisure activities on public infrastructural systems.