luckyland Sydney 2005
Recreational facilities are areas which are defined and outfitted through con-
struction measures, and upon which specific activities take place in ordered surroundings. Nicola Meitzner investigates this type of facility in and around Sydney. Australians enjoy spending their free time outside, where they actively play sports or watch others doing so. Active and passive recreational activities come together in arenas where the mass of onlookers is separated from the playing field and its protagonists by barriers and delineations. The sequence of events in this type of spectacle is strictly regulated and ritualized. A game has its fixed rules and a clearly defined objective. When this objective has been attained or the playing time has expired, the game comes to an end. It is played on a clearly delimited field. The protagonists display their virtuosity within this system of rules, temporal framework, prescribed objective and playing-field delimitation. The onlookers submit to this body of regulations in equal measure; otherwise they could not appreciate the talented performance of the players and the beauty of the game. The viewers have their own ritualized forms of expression such as clapping, yelling, making the wave, and much more. There is only one thing they are not allowed—intervening in the events of the game. The separation between active participants and onlookers also occurs in those facilities where the seeker after recreation can freely decide whether he wishes to take part actively, for instance in public pools or amusement parks. There the guest purchases periods of time or admission entitlement for clearly defined activities such as swimming, skateboarding or rollercoaster-riding. The freedom to be found in free time remains a promise beyond the fence separating the pool from the open sea. Nicola Meitzner scrutinizes enclosures with open eyes. She presents the onlookers in the act of viewing just like the protagonists in the arena.
c-prints 30 x 40 cm