Cristian Quinteros Soto
The towel holders marks the transition between a state of dressed and undressed. No matter how you feel about it, it’s required of you as a visitor at a public swimming pool to drop your towel by the holder. Then it´s up to you to react and reflect on your own relationship with your and other´s bodies.
In the same sense Cristian sees a school as a transition between youth and adulthood. He wants to welcome you to this day of your education, and invite you to ponder your relation to yourself in relation to the school.
In Cristian Quinteros Soto´s artistic practice, he is exploring collective experiences such as migration, in-betweenness, and most recently care. In his ongoing project, he investigates spaces for collective nudity that can create potential to neutralize the expectations that the body is exposed to in society. Can these spaces enable a dialogue about the body that is decoupled from the framework society?
By conducting the conversations in places created for nudity (or near-nudity - such as at a swimmingpool), Cristian tries to understand how such a space changes our view of the body and what methods exist to enable a normalization of the non-normative body.
Transitions is a part of his ongoing project Swimming Season (Badsäsongen).
In short, the project is about swimming together and it is based on Cristians previous practice of collective meetings. Before the baths Cristian gives a brief overview of what the group is going to do. Then the group goes out into the water and sits down until all can breathe calmly. The group decides together when they are ready to leave the water, get up and get dressed. Through these baths, many issues around care, collectivity, well-being, the cold waters impact, the nude body, practicality, aging comes to mind.
With the project, Cristian wants to explore how people can meet in new ways, how hierarchies in groups can change and how non-sexual nudity can exist without excluding any groups in society.
"Some things can be and should be discussed within the realm of art and some things need to be experienced first hand. I find swimming together one of them. My experience is that a lot of people feel more connected after a being naked together in a non-sexual way, and that it breaks borders quickly."
So: consider this an invitation to swim with Cristian!
Photos by Cristain Quinteros Soto