Absence of Water

Gigi Cifali photographs the sense of emptiness that surrounds and fills abandoned public lidos and baths built in the late Victorian period as symbols of civic and architectural pride.

Absence of Water
Absence of Water is a photographic project which documents the state of decay of some baths, pools and lidos in the United Kingdom.
They were places in vogue, fundamental for the life till the thirties of XX Century. Gradually, living conditions and tastes have changed, resulting in a drop of attendances, leaving the public pools uneconomical to run. Symbols of civic and architectural pride in Victorian times, today only a handful of them remain as a representation of bygone era.
Absence of water
Top: Gigi Cifali, Hornsey Baths, London, from the series Absence of Water, 2009-2013 (detail). Above: Gigi Cifali, Chadderton Baths Oldham, from the series Absence of Water, 2009-2013
The project gives us the possibility to reflect on water: on its function and the importance it has for man and society development and growth. Water determines the wealth, it is indispensable to live and its lack inexorably leads to ruin, exactly as happened to these pools. These architectures, trough their charm, show us the time irreversible action, the ruin, the sense of emptiness that surrounds and fills them. Yet they are testimony and memory of a not too far age, when they were places full of voices and laughter and the beating heart of life.

Gigi Cifali
(Naples, 1975) lives and works in London, where he earned a Master's degree in journalism from the University of Westminster. Documentary photographer, has been awarded several times, his shots were selected, among others: the International Photography Awards, Fuji Prix Awards, AOP Association of Photographers Awards and François Schneider Foundation. His works have been published in Italy and abroad.

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