Fermín Jiménez Landa: El Nadador
May 2 – August 2, 2015
MAZ: El Museo de Arte Zapopan
20 de Noviembre, Zapopan, 45100 Zapopan, Jal., Mexico
The movie poster for the 1968 Burt Lancaster film The Swimmer features a portrait of the star’s face dissolving into a swimming pool wake, and asks in that Vaseline-around-the-edges-soft-focus-dated-movie-poster-way, “When you talk about ‘The Swimmer’ will you talk about yourself?”
Drawing inspiration from the film, artist Fermín Jiménez Landa’s exhibition at El Museo de Arte Zapopan (MAZ) of the same name, El Nadador—The Swimmer, appropriates the film’s use of swimming pools as social vignettes to explore themes of private space, vulnerability, and the value of “wasting time”. In the film, we discover that Ned Merrill, the title swimmer, has some kind of self-imposed-amnesia and is unable to recall the last two years of his life. Willfully clueless and naturally vapid, he has no voice of his own outside expressing his desire to swim (and drink) his way home, pool by pool, relying on the hospitality of friends. Like an affable mashup between Ryan Lochte and Patrick Bateman on Xanax, he crashes party after party—his anecdotal interactions revealing the social dynamics of the late 1960s upper-class as well as clues about his forgotten identity.