My third solo exhibition was in Akershus kunstnersenter, Lilleström just outside Oslo in Norway 2004. It was about a being seduced by a romantic tourist image of France and being just fine about it. The exhibition showed three installations with the names Camping, Images of France and Signs of France and also contained a series of watercolor paintings I made during a campingtrip to France in 1994. There were also a text about t a special camp site we found on the way.
“The data of cultural experiences are somewhat fictionalized, idealized or exaggerated models of social life that are in the public domain, in films fiction, political rhetoric, small talk, comic strips, expositions, etiquette and spectacles. All tourist attractions are cultural experiences”
“Culture can continue, via its productions’ to provide a basis for community even in our complex modern society. In facts it is only culture – not empirical social relations – that can provide a basis for the modern community. Working through cultural productions, people can communicate emotions and complex meanings across class, group and generational lines. Music and games, for example, have always had deep roots in the human community because they permit anyone who knows the basic code to enjoy nuances and subtleties in the playing out of variations. Strangers who have the same cultural grounding can come together in a cultural production, each knowing what to expect next and feel a closeness or solidarity, even where no empirical closeness exists. Their relationship begins before they meet.
In modern societal not merely music and games but almost every aspect of life can be played at, danced, orchestrated, made into a model of itself and perpetuated without leadership and without requiring anyone’s awareness or guidance.”
“As cultural productions provide a base for the modern community, they give rise to a modern form of alienation of individuals interested only in the model or the life-style, not in the life it represents.”
The tourist – A new theory of the leisure class, Dean McCannel, 1976