All Inclusive: A Tourist World
We recently heard about an exhibition called All Inclusive: A Tourist World at the Shirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, but sadly not in time to go and see it. Luckily, there's a book of the show which features the same images as well as some accompanying text gleaned from a public literary contest on the subject of tourism. The writing is intriguing, but it's the pictures, by a variety of artists, that really capture your attention.
Some are real, some hyper-real. The top image by Korean digital artist Ho-Yeol Ryu shows hundreds of airplanes taking off at once – a play on reality that hopefully will never come true. The cruise ships stranded in Amsterdam (above) are the work of Dutch NL Architects – artificial islands and the ultimate in temporary architecture in our constantly-changing society.
Reality, however, can be equally strange. Take this picture by the brilliant populist photographer Martin Parr (above). In a series of images of Switzerland, he shows how the country's most extreme natural resources have been capitalised on by the tourist industry (are these visitors really waving at the Matterhorn?). And Thomas Struth's study of museum visitors, rather than the art itself, reminds us what we look like as we spectate.
The book looks at the rise of tourism to the world's third largest economic force, and the new culture of leisure which is changing the world we live in. Here's just a sample of what it says: '…All over the world destinations are sprouting that expand the artificial panorama until it can no longer be distinguished from reality. Such worlds in miniature include – to name just a few – Las Vegas, which receives nearly forty million tourists annually; the Disneyland Resort outside Paris; and Window of the World in Shenzhen, China. Dubailand, currently under construction in Dubai, which will be the world's largest entertainment center, will also offer tourist pleasures in an artificial rain forest, desert safaris, the world's largest ski hall, golf courses, luxury hotels, one of the largest shopping centers with more than a thousand stores, and Dubai Film City. The goal is to welcome 200,000 visitors daily' (Max Hollein, Foreword).
All Inclusive is edited by Max Hollein and Matthias Ulrich and published by SNOECK Verlag (ISBN 978-3-936859-81-2).
Images: Ho-Yeol Ryu, Airport, 2005; NL Architects, Plugin City, 2007; Martin Parr, The Matterhorn, 1990; Thomas Struth, Audience 8 (Galleria dell'Accademia) Firenze, 2004. With thanks to SNOECK Verlag