SPF: It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool

It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool, or Pool Date is a dating experience and installation in Special Special’s summer group show, SPF. For each Pool Date, two participants who sign up for the same time slot meet at a pool installation with allusions to secluded suburban backyards, high-rise rooftops, and urban public pools. Kick off your date by choosing one of seven classic mock-tail drinks, served in a hand-made larger-than-life ceramic cocktail vessel from the Special Special bar. Each date lasts one hour.

Inspired by the Chinese proverb 十年修得同船渡 which translates to “It takes ten years practice to be on the same boat,” the Boat Date becomes a Pool Date when It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool (十一年修得同池渡). This project is built on the concept of yuánfèn where one’s good deeds from past lives will lead to the “fateful coincidence” of those you meet in this life, whether as friends, lovers, or acquaintances.

Everyone has different associations with the pool. For some it is where best summer memories of their backyard pools are formed, for others it is reminiscent of an era where pools were inaccessible to some. In New York City, pool culture implies the exclusivity of private pools or the crowded waters of public swimming pools. Pool date is an imagined space that brings two people together to have meandering conversations around memories of swimming pools, summer romances, and childhood dreams. Along with Special Special, Pool Date intends to create openness, patience and appreciation of the moments when two people encounter each other at our imagined city pool.

Pool Date is a project by Wildman Clab in collaboration with Special Special. Since 2017, Wildman Clab, created by Lu Zhang, is a lab/club to research and prove the existence of primitive individuals. By providing activities and experiences within specific environments, WC explores the unknown and unexplainable part of human relationships. Wildman Clab has previously created social encounters through mobile karaoke at Columbus Park, Chinatown, NY; and in Boat Date at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, NY.

“It Takes 11 Years Practice to be at the Same Pool is part of SPF, our first group show transforming the living room storefront into a swimming pool. SPF is a metaphor of the Special Special logo, a blue oval that is the pool of water to be submerged for creative dialogues. A fluid arrangement of various artist projects evoking the spirit of a poolside retreat, offering New Yorkers a refuge from the sweltering heat. Interspersed throughout the months of May through August, each highlighted project, workshop, and event opened with a Pool Party.”

Participating artists in SPF includes Lu Zhang, Aria McManus, Ben Langford, and an “Overflow” curation by John Belknap.