There are more than a few things about swimming pools which might prevent you from taking a serene moment to absorb the general grandeur of the building which houses them. A toddler concentrating hard on the slowly yellowing water that surrounds him, a front crawling old lady in a swimming cap busily elbowing anybody who drifts into her lane, the mob of noisy schoolboys bombing into the deep end – they don’t exactly conjure up memories of a peaceful dip.
French photographer Franck Bohbot is aware of this distraction, and he’s doing everything he can with his camera to counteract the chaos. His serene photographs capture the public buildings in the few spare moments before the stillness of the water is disrupted, and the profound calmness which engulfs his shots is actually quite magical. This rare opportunity to acknowledge the strangely garish colours, the towering supporting columns and the artificial light dappling the water is oddly nostalgic, and very peaceful in a “calm before the storm” kind of way. In this environment even the remembered smell of chlorine is quite appealing.
If you find yourself questioning his ability to conjure up such a complete tranquility, take a look at Franck’s website to see him cast a similarly enchanting stasis over theatres, train stations and public libraries.