‘Swim City’ is the first exhibition to draw attention to a particular contemporary phenomenon in urban space: river swimming as a mass movement. Swiss cities have played a pioneering role in the development of this activity in the last few decades, gradually making the river accessible as a natural public space within the built environment. This has allowed for the river to become a place of leisure located right in front of one’s doorstep. The rest of the world looks on in awe at this bathing culture. Here, cities abroad see an example of how they can reclaim their river areas as a spatial resource, so as to sustainably improve the quality of urban life.
The exhibition shows the unique characteristics and historic development of river swimming in Basel, Bern, Zurich and Geneva. An immersive film installation allows visitors to experience these four cities from the perspective of a swimmer in the river. In addition, the exhibition presents contemporary river-swimming projects from around the world: Flussbad Berlin, POOL IS COOL (Brussels), Thames Baths (London), Ilot Vert (Paris), Charles River Swimming Initiative (Boston) and +POOL (New York), and during future presentations abroad, will include local best practices wherever possible.
Special thanks to Jürg Egli for film installation and Lucía de Mosteyrín for photography.
Barbara Buser, Andreas Ruby & Yuma Shinohara