Leeds International Pool (Rejected Proposals). Leeds International Pool, unrealised (June 2007).
In June 2007, Black Dogs were invited to make a proposal for an intervention at Leeds International Pool. We put forward plans for several distinct artworks, ranging from a series of ghostly videos to hardcore audience liver abuse. The proposal read:
Our intention with the proposed intervention in Leeds International Pool is to facilitate the audience to reflect on the history of the building and its wider context (the city) in a critical yet celebratory fashion - a good-natured ribbing with games and activities to prompt conversation.
The point of departure for our intervention is the widespread urban legend of the pool’s design omitting the thickness of its tiles and in turn not being able to qualify as an official Olympic-sized pool. This insignificant but tragic unit of measurement will feature subtly in many of the works included in the intervention.
The atmosphere we intend to create is a discreet unsettling of the audience through the layering of past activity and present celebration. This will be achieved through the audience’s simultaneous experience of participative and interactive artworks and games etc that form a ‘real-time party’, and the inclusion of works that playback past events or ghostly traces of past activity in the pool.
An illustrative reference point might be the scene in Kubrik’s ‘The Shining’ where Jack hallucinates a bar and partygoers that existed decades previous whilst enjoying a drink and chat with the (similarly imagined) bar tender.
Initial works that we have discussed to achieve this atmosphere will include: