A Series of Solo Exhibitions
Exploring Travel & Tourism
PARADISE IN SEARCH OF A FUTURE - PART II
September 21 - December 22, 2001
Curated by Lisa Fischman, Director of The Atlanta College of Art Gallery, with Lawrence Brose
Paradise in Search of a Future is a multi-site exhibition in two parts, linking discrete artistic efforts that illuminate travel and tourism as cultural practices. The exhibition was sparked by the indelible influence of National Geographic magazines signature "photo-stories" on tourism in the West. Since the 19th century, NGs carefully crafted photographs of far-away places and exotic otherness have been prototypes for tourist adventures and the souvenir snapshots that inevitably recorded them. Familiar and still seductive, NG photography articulates and shapes Western expectations of global encounter and fuels the hunger for new sights that is touristic desire. It is the photography that continues to resonate in the popular imagination.
This exhibition takes its name from a photo-caption in a post-WWII issue of National Geographic, a single line that captures the romantic tone of the magazines portrayal of the world beyond America
as idyllic, childlike and ultimately tourist-friendly. This neatly unified presentation of the world "beyond" is fascinating. Encapsulated photographically, it is simple and essential. Captured.
The connection to National Geographic photography is suggestive, a cursor on the ways that mediated images inform what we see of the world, how we know it, how we come to desire and experience it. It underscores photo-tourism as a representational enterprise in which global populations now participate, and which shapes our understanding of culture itself.
Paradise in Search of a Future commissions and presents a range of contemporary art projects that confound, challenge and critique the intimate connection between representation and touristic enterprise. These projects self-consciously derive from and articulate new perspectives, identities and processes; suggestive and provocative, they ask us ultimately to reconsider what we see of the world and know of ourselves as tourists.
Lisa Fischman, 2001