In the exhibition ‘Beyond Paradise’ tourist image production and narratives, as we know them from travel brochures, postcards, advertisements, films and so on, are appropriated in the works presented. They reflect on the construction of expectations, experiences and the social imaginary of places evoked by the ubiquitous and pervasive culture of tourism we are living in nowadays.
The starting point of this exhibition also stems from the paradox that tourism still involves romantic, if not paradisiacal imagery, whereas the tourist experience is actually shattered by all kinds of forces that haunt our daily lives: commercialism, gentrification, the complex entanglement of migration and tourist destinations, war, and fear of terrorism. But it is also significant for the strength of our tourism-minded culture that even such threatening notions and experiences can be integrated in a package tour.
‘Beyond Paradise’ investigates modes of representation and visibility, starting from the mass production of images – a scheme central to the leisure industry – and the idealized imagery of places, and moves away from the familiar Tourist Gaze to construct unexpected fictional or personal narratives. The promises of these idealistic and seductive images are appropriated and eventually shifted in the works presented in the exhibition, to reveal other realities, and take us beyond paradise in order to question one of the greatest fictions of our times: that of tourism.
The exhibtion will open on Saturday the 19th of July at 5 pm .