Common Sweat Sauna 2016
A sauna was built in front of Zsenne Artlab on a public square in Brussels (without any official permission). The goal was to see if it was possible to built a functioning sauna from scrap materials (mostly harvested from old art projects from a variety of artists) on the street and to open up a crack for a dimension of magic realism to appear. It was built in one week and was operated for one week, open for public.
The daily sessions were accompanied with experimental live music.
The wellness industry has a wide set of rules and behavioral logics that prevent it from being a common experience with other people but more an individualized consumerist experience.
The Common Sweat Saunas offers a real (and free) sauna experience and generates a commonality by creating a situation that is different and a bit weird. Through this gentle awkwardness in the public space it creates amongst the visitors a feeling of “we are in it together”. Sometimes it looked like a candid camera situation when a sweaty person jumped out of the sauna to have a shower on the street while somebody letting out his dog was looking full of disbelief at the scene. These are situations I find important to happen in a city where an entire system of corporate legalities distract this from happening and where an entire media monopoly exists to anchor our desires to commerce.
I see the Common Sweat Sauna as a critical framework to look at our reality. We sat in silence with strangers during the first sauna session and listened to the cars and people passing by, suddenly there was space for awareness and the world around us seemed to be in such a hurry.
Commomn Sweat Sauna has been located at:
Zsenne ArtLab, Brussels
Swallowing Helmets - Jardin Maritime, Brussels
Kaaistudio. Common conference Apass. Brussels
Many thanks to all people involved!
supported by: Zsenne ArtLab and Nadine