Fototurismo [2007–2019]

The century and a half long relationship between photography and tourism has not changed, in any significant way, by technological development in photography. The need to take a photograph in front of some famous cultural or natural site has persisted regardless of the emergence of the Internet, selfie sticks and cheap flights. The precise economic logic behind one of the biggest industries relies both on romanticising travel itself and maintaining the kitsch appeal of middle class conventions. One need not think about the environmental consequences of this global performance, with large groups of people moving around for the sake of generic tourist attractions, in order to perceive the meaningless mechanism of consumerism.

Fototurismo consists of a series of unspectacular photographs taken in the vicinity of some of the most popular tourist sites in the Mediterranean. Nothing directly related to tourism has been depicted, however – instead of recognisable symbols, I have photographed more or less ordinary coastal scenery, which appears more or less similar everywhere. In addition to the absence of characteristic subjects, the inverted logic of these tourist photographs is highlighted in the specific photographic approach: Photographs are not conceived in relation to the attraction of the sites they represent, but are mainly the result of a self-sufficient formal strategy. The delicate self-irony that infuses the project also refers to the long history of “on the road” artworks made in unfamiliar, exotic places.

Fototurismo, a nonexistent word derived from the Italian language, is used as the title of the project whose meaning stems from the text/name, rather than from the images themselves. The timeless sunlit scenes that stand behind this potential critique of the touristic urge may easily be understood as a Romantic return to a time before tourism. However, they might just as easily be interpreted as a chilly anticipation of a time after tourism.  [MV]


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