The Pools I Shot are a series of photographs playing with my obsession to conceptually document Los Angeles, this time through the surfaces of its pools (and its impossibility to completely and fully be captured, explained, etc.) The LA-LIKE work plays around with the presumed fiction of the relationship between place and what is being documented, which is very much what Los Angeles is about. Each image is an incredibly abstracted and darkened shot of the surface of a pool, with the overexposed sunlight reflection acting as a sort of tear in the surface. The project is not finished – my intention is to photograph a pool in every different part of Los Angeles. And like the duBois project, no matter how many pools I photograph, there is still no way to encapsulate what Los Angeles is…
Or as Andrew Berardini describes, “Under the sultry shine of a California sun, more than one deadpan artist and otherworldly visionary, fictive character and everyday human, has dreamed desire and class, poetry and leisure, into the placid hue of a swimming pool. An inflatable lounge drifts in the cool, chemical blue. Pink-parts swimsuited, a curve of naked skin slowly tans, and manicured fingernails dip thoughtlessly into the surface of the water. Chlorine lends it clarity but subtle impurities capture the low red of light’s spectrum, and the water beams back the wettest of cyans. In the sky above Los Angeles, weary air travellers fingering barf-bags bend against the oval windows as the plane banks for descent, their dazed eyes counting the kidney-curved blues that punctuate the tract houses under the swaying palm trees.
Like bottle-blonde, the colour is too perfectly synthetic to hide its factory fakery. Like all water, a pool is a dream of life, but this stuff’s totally undrinkable. What isn’t laced with piss is diluted poison. However illusory, its cool, wet kiss gives such sweet relief to sunbaked skin.
A wastrel Benjamin in The Graduate (1967) basks in the directionless drift of postcoital bliss and suburban ennui, an earned rest from Mrs. Robinson’s mature charms. A California dream, Hockney’s naked boys make a silent splash into its depthless colour, the perfect sunlight casting rippling shadows made permanent with paint. The empty stare of Ed Ruscha’s Nine Swimming Pools (1968) is matched with swathes of blank pages and concluded with a broken glass. Zoe Crosher snaps the blank water from above in the series The Pools I Shot (2006–), each sun-dappling shadow across its placid surface soaked with sultry promise and foreboding noir. Off Sunset Blvd, Joe Gillis floats facedown in the pool he always wanted, though the black-and-white film can’t show the hue of the water in his lungs.”
By Andrew Berardini, Art Review, November 2014