9 September 2004

Thanks to its victory in BBC2’s Restoration last year, Victoria Baths is famous. But the building remains in transition, with funding problems clouding the situation, as it continues to await a future that will at last reclaim the past.

Artists have been regular contributors to the Baths’ struggle to be reborn. In this new exhibition, Paul Jelen’s text dwells briefly on time, in letters placed high on the wall above the Female Pool. While not innovative in its words, the work provides its own echo, beneath the text a smaller repeated version is like a delay, holding the mind to the notion of passing time to make the required connection.

Lizzie Hughes’ work follows the path of water drained from the pool to the sea in a disjointed clutch of video monitors, while Joanna Karolini dwells on the in-between state – cleaning precisely half of the Turkish Baths.

Tod Hanson picks up the anticipatory spirit with an ephemeral and vivid decoration of the pool for Males – First Class.

Completed by Claudia Pilsl’s contemplative photos and videos, and Ellie Harrison’s online work, just long enough to make the this exhibition is a timely reminder that the past is the best place to build the future on.

Martin Vincent