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Melissa Guerrero

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"No Diving"

Melissa Guerrero

Inkjet Print, 2023

“No Diving” came from the angst of a reality, the lack of a pool on our backyard and not being able to afford a country club. A complex conversation I found by exploring my city, this made me encounter problems and difficulties of having access to public places to swim. Why is swimming such a big deal? Why is it so important to have this recreational space? The options are simple: either your local public pool or an above surface inflatable pool. The exploration of this new world made me recall fading memories of being a kid. Floating on the surface of the pool and then submerging.  Small recollections of childhood nostalgia looking up and seeing someone, was it a swim teacher or a family member? In the series you find a mirrored image, a girl, a reflection, an illusion of what once was perfect. 

With a sense of mystery, submerged, air bubbles suddenly appear all at our local public pool,  a microcosmos always lively full of life. The analogue medium helps communicate those imperfections of distorted memories and the uncontrollable features of daily life. Diving, breathlessly captivating the interplay of light and bubbles, all intertwined with the exhilaration of this atmosphere and its particular emotion. Images of forgotten objects, isolated floating natural elements symbolizing as metaphors, exclusion. These main characters seem like dancers in a ballet or did they all become swimmers? Everyone is an active member of this scenario. An observant lifeguard watching over all the kids. 

The limited visibility by allowing chance, in a relatively naive way, trying to find meaning, recognizing that unpredictability can enrich the content these. Chance is a powerful element, imagine opening your eyes while submerged in a pool full of life. Allowing this exploration of distorted perspectives and warped dimensions were the old and the new coexist.

This photographic experimentation explores that visceral and raw feeling of being around a public pool. Blending the world of childhood nostalgia and adult identity with that particular strangeness that means growing up. 

The complex conversation doesn’t give out solutions but does open the door for deeper thoughts about the need of these public spaces to be accessible. They are part of childhood development and and important part of community recreation. It's a space for creating family memories for all the different communities, about possibilities, opportunities and learning how to swim.

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