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