A Swimming Pool by Michele Tagliaferri

スピーカーからは連日のように、またどこかで最高気温記録を更新したことを伝えるアナウンサーの声が聞こえてくる。この暑さから少しの間だけでも逃避すべく、先日『A Swimming Pool』という涼しげなタイトルの作品集をイタリアから取り寄せた。乾いた風が吹き抜ける情熱の街と、そこにポツンと佇む古びた市民プール。そのような情景を思い浮かべながら封を切ったが、開いてみるとそれはプールについての作品でも情熱的なドキュメンタリーでもなく、作者の淡々とした日常をまとめた何とも不思議な本だった。



From the speaker, I could hear the announcer saying that the highest temperature record has been updated somewhere, almost daily. To escape from the heat even for a short while, I recently ordered a collection of works with a refreshing title called ‘A Swimming Pool’ all the way from Italy. A passionate city where the dry wind blows through, and an old lone public swimming pool stands there. That is what I imagined this book was about until I opened the first page. It was neither a work about pools nor a passionate documentary. What I found was an enigmatic book about the author’s monotonous everyday life.

The book contains seven chapters of photographs taken during the author’s commute, work place, the homeless he occasionally saw on the streets, public swimming pools, portraits of people whose relationships are not clearly shown, and photographs of plants. Its composition, which eliminates the drama and makes its readers conscious of the everydayness and repetition, almost feels like minimal music. Repetitive actions are made and immaterial changes give rise to sound variations and then repeat again endlessly. Nonetheless, this work is not a nihilistic representation of the repeating monotony of reality. The author, Michele Tagliaferri, tries to embrace such days by resisting the sense of repetitiveness that is caused by the concept of time. And at the same time, he still shows the conflicting attitudes that embrace those days by enjoying the small discoveries and occurrences in life.

Not to mention the first impression I initially had, all proper nouns were forgotten and the iterations continued in my head even after the last page was turned over. The daily lives of the author and the individuals present in this book still continue and so do their activities. Even though all I have in hand is a book, a printed material, it felt like there was red, scarlet blood flowing wildly through it. After all, the summer heat has not changed. Surely I will be writing the same introduction next year and that following year as well.

(Text by Yukihito Kono, contributed for “The 3 wise tellers” in Lula Japan Issue 11, 5th November 2019)


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