Thursday 19 March 2015 at Danielle Arnaud Gallery - Performative lecture by Polly Gould followed by discussion with Steven Crossan, Founder of Google Cultural Institute, Dr. Peg Rawes, Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and Emily Hayes, PhD candidate at the Royal Geographical Society and the University of Exeter.
Gould’s performative lecture is modeled on the Edwardian magic lantern show and the tableau vivant.
They were the popular forms of their time, presented with narration and music, and equally likely to take place in a domestic drawing room or in a public hall. Although now outmoded, magic lantern shows and tableaux vivants can be seen as antecedents to film. For Penguin Pool Gould has recombined a set of old lantern slides into a narrative. It begins with a slide of the penguins in the iconic 1934 design by Lubetkin (1901-1990) for the penguin pond at London Zoo. A 1936 film on Lubetkin’s innovative zoo design claimed that ‘for the first time’ the animals would no longer be ‘housed in artificial reproductions of their natural surroundings.’ Like characters in a tableau vivant the animals assume the nonspeaking parts. Polly Gould also considers a lecture titled ‘Some Remarks on Penguins,’ prepared in 1902 by the explorer Edward Wilson (1872-1912) during the Discovery expedition to Antarctica. Wilson, believing penguins to be ‘some of the most primitive behind-hand birds in existence'  looked to them to unlock insights into evolution.
Penguin Pool plays on the pun of ‘pool’ as an entertaining architectural design for zoological display and gene pool, which fits the more recent conception of the zoo as a place for conservation of endangered species. Evolutionary ecology is currently being used to predict threats posed to biodiversity from various potential extinctions. In a similar mode, the archive is also considered as a type of gene pool, as a collection of available data and information that can be drawn upon for design innovation and for making predictions of future scenarios.
 Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, 'The New Architecture of the London Zoo', 1936
 Edward Wilson, 'Some remarks on Penguins' in The South Polar Times, Vol 1, April to August 1902, (part IV July 1902, London: Smith, Elder, & Co. 15 Waterloo Place. S.W. 1907. P. 3-9.