Due to current developments in connection with the coronavirus, we are closing the Künstlerhaus Bethanien to the public until 30 November. The exhibition Swimming Pool – Troubled Waters (originally planned from 13th November until 13th December 2020) is postponed until summer 2021.



C& Center of Unfinished Business (Yvette Mutumba, Julia Grosse, Mearg Negusse), Daniel Bozhkov, Nina Canell, Mounir Gouri, Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir, Klara Hobza, Fermín Jiménez Landa, Santiago Mostyn, New Mineral Collective (Tanya Busse and Emilija Škarnulytė), Sandra Vaka, Ulrich Vogl, Ming Wong and ZEVS

+ film programme by Olaf Stüber with works by Hanna Arvela, Alice Creischer, Rä di Martino, Monira Al Qadiri, Julika Rudelius and Corinna Schnitt

curated by Valeria Schulte-Fischedick

We are all familiar with that languorous, light, sun-drenched feeling when the water glistens around our feet in a deep blue pool … We are all familiar with it? The exhibition Swimming Pool – Troubled Waters is about clichéd images and exclusion, drawing on a multitude of associations around the “swimming pool” theme, and the diverse and lasting experiences of cloudiness affecting water and our relationships with it. In this way, the exhibition focuses on vital discussion about class barriers and mechanisms of exclusion in Europe and globally–caused by current migratory movements, among other things. References from film history, current artistic works, and an open exhibition architecture dedicated to research, developed in collaboration with the C& Center of Unfinished Business, attempt to sound out the gradual infiltration of the issues of inclusion and exclusion into the awareness of the affluent society.

The starting point of the exhibition is the film remake A Bigger Splash from 2015, which derives from the classic The Swimming Pool (La Piscine) by Jacques Deray. Luca Guadagnino has created a veritable anti-film, brushing its sensually elegant predecessor from 1969 against the grain. While The Swimming Pool touches only marginally on fields of social conflict, fugitives are casually faded into the background of A Bigger Splash and fatally woven into the plot at the end: when the film deals with the crucial question of who should be blamed for a murder in the pool, the protagonists agree to hold immigrants responsible for the crime.

The title of the film alludes to David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash from 1967. This iconic depiction of hedonistic, Californian joie de vivre is contrasted here with awareness of acute water shortages and water pollution. In the exhibition, the waters of the swimming pool–as a carefree sign of prosperity and the corresponding clichés and ideals–are permanently clouded.


A catalogue will be published for the exhibition, including contributions by Andrew Berardini, Övül Ö. Durmusoglu, Gustav Elgin, Maaike Gouwenberg, Gudny Gudmundsdóttir, Nele Heinevetter (TROPEZ), John Holten, Linda Jalloh, Àngels Miralda, Mearg Negusse, Bert Rebhandl, Vanina Saracino, Valeria Schulte-Fischedick, Olaf Stüber and Carola Uehlken.

For further information please send an email to: presse@bethanien.de.


13.11. – 13.12.2020
Tue - Sun: 2 - 7pm
Admission free