It was in winter 2016 when I first had the idea to document the small and very beautiful municipal outdoor swimming pool of a little town close to Stuttgart in Southern Germany. What initially began as a sudden inspiration soon developed into a real concept. I wanted to document the whole facility mainly when no people are around. I wanted to show the place around the year, abandoned and left alone on the foothills of a small forrest. It is a silent and quiet place with beautiful trees and wide lawns. Despite the work that is required, it is a valuable location and a visit is often part of the daily summer routine of many people living here. But what serves the community so well in the summer has a life all around the year which many quiet and solitary days during winter.
The pool is old and needs quite some maintenance work. The municipal administration invests a tremendous amount of money every year to keep the pool open for public use. Last year the “Freibad”[^German for "public swimming pool"] almost faced its closure as not enough money was available for the required restoration works which will be due in fall later this year. With the help of thousands of donations it was finally possible to setup a financing plan. The “Bälde”, how it is lovingly called by locals, was saved.
My project documents the place and the people. It shows some of the persons that make it possible for the visitors to enjoy a relaxing sun bath and a refreshing dip into the cold water. I was granted access during off season and this is why the book is called “Nebensaison”, which is German and stands for low season. All images were taken on analog film with a Hasselblad 500cm, a Rolleiflex 3,5F and a Pentax 645 which I exclusively used for the portraits. I feel the wonderful aesthetics of film do justice to the beauty of the place and reflect the tranquility I encountered during my visits.
The project is a tribute to the people making this fasciity available to all of us. It also offers a new view on the buildings, the pool and the other places during the seasons and without people.
I have made a book which is now available for sale and all the profit from it will be completely donated to the restoration process starting in September. The book includes some very nice illustrations drawn by Florijan Hölzle a designer from Stuttgart.
If you are interested in acquiring a copy, please leave me a note. The first edition will be limited to 50 copies. The images are partially available in the PROJECTS section of my website. Feel free to check it out.