I have not been able to quite shake images of artist Pamela Rosenkranz' installation in the Swiss Pavilion. A rectangular pool filled with a cloudy blush liquid beneath a window-lined roof looking out into what appears to be green foliage.
In fact, suspended in the liquid are chemicals, hormones, and bacteria associated with human enhancement, youth, and longevity: Neotene, Silicone, Evian, Viagra, Bionin, and Necrion, among others. The soft, soothing shade of the water is matched to the ideal European skin tone "reminiscent of the 'carnate' [Holy body] used in Renaissance painting to render the visual qualities of human flesh."
What results is a strange environment that flips between surreal beauty, and Sci-Fi grotesque: for the former, I think of warm epsom salt baths or hot springs; at the same time, I'm reminded of Ghost Busters' ectoplasm, or the even the flesh-dissolving pool in Under The Skin.
The Swiss Arts Council confirms this mix of the lovely and the repulsive:
But are the reactions to this immersive experience directly generated by these aspects, the artist asks, or is it hallucinatory, a placebo effect?
Regardless, I can't seem to stop looking.