Artist Invites Public To Get Naked For Sauna Exhibition At Catalyst Arts Belfast

By Isla Harvey | 14 February 2007
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Photo of a sauna with benches outside

Joanna Karolini, The Bath is Hot. Courtesy Catalyst Arts © Joanna Karolini

Is art good for you? Of course it is - especially when it’s by Joanna Karolini. The Polish-Danish artist has erected a fully-functioning Finnish sauna in the Catalyst Arts Centre in Belfast and is inviting the public to strip off and reap the physical and social benefits of her work.

The show, titled The Bath is Hot, is running until March 9 2007. As well as the sauna, video footage, photographs and objects all illustrate the cultural background of saunas and bathing facilities in various countries.

“I want to use the space to encourage viewers to come to the gallery to pursue leisure and health,” said Karolini, “and the sauna to be a catalyst for social exchange, discussions and a warm platform where other events can take place.”

photo of the boiler which heats the sauna

Joanna Karolini, The Bath is Hot. Courtesy Catalyst Arts © Joanna Karolini

The sauna can be booked for either mixed or single-sex evening sessions or a family session on Saturday afternoons. A naked mixed session is also available on Tuesday nights.

Karolini reports a very positive response from the public, and the gallery has already received several bookings for the nude session. Day visitors can view the exhibition and walk into the sauna when cold.

The artist says her work is about reminding people of the often forgotten links between art, leisure, health, and social interaction. Karolini notes that Roman baths were not only a place to get clean, but also a social haven where lectures and readings could be heard.

a photograph of a man with a bicycle

Joanna Karolini, The Bath is Hot. Courtesy Catalyst Arts © Joanna Karolini

She states that health has been separated from art-culture in this country describing gyms as often, “cold” and “functional” where people unsociably put their headphones in to pound the treadmill.

We're preparing an information page on 24 Hour Museum about Catalyst Arts, but in the meantime, check out the venue website for details of the exhibition.

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