The Christian Science Monitor

'Poolside' art dives into Mexico City's untidy transformation

Artist Nando Lelo painted the high dive overlooking the dilapidated four-lane swimming pool at the former Club Condesa in Mexico City. It was originally an all-women's swim club, opened in 1940. Source: Whitney Eulich

The past is never far from the present in Mexico City, a capital built by the Spanish upon Aztec schools, temples, and ceremonial ball courts. History often resurfaces as this quintessential megacity constantly changes shape – expanding outward, upward, and even below ground, taking on traffic and a growing population. Earlier this summer, archaeologists uncovered a more than 500-year-old temple beneath a 1950s hotel in the city center. Last year, digging under a supermarket exposed ruins that date back 200 years further.

Yet, for all that is uncovered, the constant construction here can also mean an erasure of more recent history. That’s part of what drew curator and art historian Angelica Montes Cruz to commemorate a seemingly forgettable space here – a 1940s-era women-only swim club.

Club Condesa, coed since the 1960s

Gallery amid the ruins'The first wave of gentrification'Blueprint for today

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