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a Martha Hviid - Surface Tension - Odense Friluftsbad - Photo Mikkel Kaldal-05 (lav).jpeg



In 2023, the public pool Odense Friluftsbad turned 90 years old. It is a historic institution, which for years has housed the outdoor leisure of generations.

As with the repetitive movements of the individual body, looping back and forth in the pool, the collective body has also repeated the same movements over and over. You can say that a sort of somatic memory has been generated at the location, not only embedded in muscles, but also in the recollections of its users.

Like a swimmer's body in water, memory can be an abstract notion, obscured by the physical mass in which it is suspended. Inspired by this, the piece borrows its motif from the world of physics, illustrating the basic principle of surface tension - being, the meeting between mass and surface. Perhaps a body that jumps in, and punctures the membrane of the water table?

Surface tension, however, does not only refer to the body submerged in the pool. Just as liquid molecules stick together and create the physical and cohesive force called surface tension, the work is also a commentary on the cohesiveness that the Friluftsbad holds for Odense's citizens and the area’s history.

All photos by Mikkel Kaldal.

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