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THE SWIMMER

FERGAL McCARTHY

In the original The Swimmer – a 1968 Burt Lancaster movie based on a John Cheever story – the main character swims home across a county through ‘a river of sapphire pools’, the backyard pools of his neighbours and friends. Working with Nicky Gogan at Stillfilms, the artist Fergal McCarthy has re-enacted this basic premise in Dublin by swimming through the city from south to north. Starting at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, McCarthy crossed Dublin following a pathway of public and private pools, canals, the River Liffey, and finally the Irish Sea before finishing at the Martello Tower on Howth Head. The film documents Dublin’s aquatic environment in 2011, a landscape that will radically alter in the years ahead. The artist has always had a fascination with swimming pools, lakes, hot tubs, rivers and the concept of bathing in general, and continuously seeks out new and unique places to swim. He credits Berlin as the city which offers a wealth of swimming options like no other, and considers what it might be like to have access to a similar experience in Dublin.

THE SWIMMER Interview
THE SWIMMER FERGAL McCARTHY