Maria Nalbantova
Institutional leisure, 2021
photo by Galena Sardamova

Institutional leisure, 2021

site-specific installation in an outdoor swimming pool, artificial grass, wood, paint

Part of the project Possible Institution curated by Viktoria Draganova with assitant Galena Sardamova @ Swimming Pool, Sofia, BG

Photos by Yana Lozeva, Galena Sardamova and Maria Nalbantova

Flashing gazes in the work bubble of the day. The buzz of assorted devices is interrupted – it’s time for a break. Time for work and time for leisure alternate rhythmically. Working time starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m., but can vary depending on the institution and official holidays. In June it’s mostly sunny. Call during working hours and don’t go during the lunch break. If you don’t find anyone, maybe the institution is sound asleep. The hands of the clock flash in the dark, showing lunchtime. Make yourselves comfortable on the lawn and take a break from arranging Tetris blocks and filling lines. Here you are immersed amidst the breath of the birds.

The work "Institutional leisure" is a site-specific installation created in the framework of the project Possible Institution organized by the place called "Swimming Pool ". "The Possible Institution" is a project about institutions – real, desired, past, fantastic. It was a long-term project that started with a series of online meetings with participants and continued with workshops, an exhibition, performances and space interventions. My work "Institutional leisure" is located in the "Swimming Pool" - at the empty outdoor swimming pool, on the roof of a building in the center of Sofia. I made a field for leisure and discussions about what exactly leisure means. The ground of the pool is covered with artificial grass and there are benches in the tetris block shapes. The audience can lie on the grass or sit on these tetris benches. Very often we arrange something, including our free time. However, how do we spend our free time? When we speak about work and different practises, we can speak about the rhythm between working time and free time. Sometimes we need space for leisure.