Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus has installed a "pool of light" in Madrid's La Latina neighborhood. The Public Swimming Pool was built with the help of the community, and seeks to raise awareness to the space's past and possible future use. The neighborhood's public pool was demolished in 2008, with a promise from the city that within two years there would be a new, modern and larger pool in its place.
The project also included the avant-garde architectural remodeling of the site's Mercado de la Cebada, providing space for leisure, sports and landscaping on its exterior. As of 21 May 2012 neither construction of the swimming pool nor the square has begun and the prospect seems increasingly unlikely.
The latest news paints a less optimistic picture. According to media reports, the city now plans to build a luxurious shopping center which may not be affordable for the La Latina community. The once vibrant public gathering place will become a center of pilgrimage for people from outside the neighborhood, and the local residents be deprived of a sports center and traditional business.
As the site stands devoid of occupation and construction, neighbours and collectives have converted the empty lot into a space of convergence, empty of water but full of life. Named Campo de Cebada after the site's historical use as a barley market, today residents participate in self-organised activities where everyone is invited.
For Luzinterruptus' Public Swimming Pool installation, La Latina residents collected transparent packaging in the square, as well as more than 800 glasses left in the street after the San Isidro festivities. In the end, the group collected got more than 2,000 transparent containers which were washed and reconditioned with the help of many little helpers, friends and visitors of the site. Containers were arranged in a disorderly manner, and filled with blue colored water and lights to achieve a luminous 6 × 4 metre "pool". The installation shone until the early morning hours.
Luzinterruptus: Public Swimming Pool at Campo de la Cebada
Duration of installation: 12 hours
Duration of exhibition: 8 hours