Saturday, January 1, 2011
Oxygen chemoreceptors in our bodies is what cues the respiratory cycle for most people. This hypoxic drive to breathe is what I feel when seeing this work by Canadian artist Max Streicher. Symptoms of hypoxia, the lack of arterial oxygen that fuels tissues and entire body, can be felt by headache, nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, and slight euphoria. Shortness of breath and euphoria? Check and check. With severe hypoxia, the skin may take on a blueish color, which is only funny here because the reflection of the swimming pool gives off the cyanotic appearance. The hypoxic urge to inhale all the air in the room and the stench of chlorine in an enclosed space is nauseating; therein lies the humor. None of this matters to Streicher, whose drive is to make swimming more playful within the architecture of the room. Check.