Art, Life, and the Tourist's Eye. The show focus on the phenomenon of international visual artists whose work responds to their experiences of traveling. Ranging from large-scale installations and sculptures to more intimate photographs and videos, the works address issues related to tourism that include spectacle, architecture, authenticity, history, souvenirs, and anthropology. Works of more than seventy-five artists curated by Francesco Bonami
Art, Life, and the Tourist's Eye
Curated by Francesco Bonami
It has been estimated that by 2010, the number of people who travel internationally will reach one billion. Occupying the entire MCA building as well as its outdoor spaces, the works in the exhibition Universal Experience: Art, Life, and the Tourist's Eye focus on the phenomenon of international visual artists whose work responds to their experiences of traveling. Ranging from large-scale installations and sculptures to more intimate photographs and videos, the works address issues related to tourism that include spectacle, architecture, authenticity, history, souvenirs, and anthropology. MCA Manilow Senior Curator Francesco Bonami writes in the exhibition catalogue, "The exhibition is a dialogue between icons and icons to be. It questions how a tourist attraction becomes a work of art-such as the Eiffel Tower-and how a work of art becomes a tourist attraction-such as the Mona Lisa. It questions the role of viewers, asking when we are tourists and when we are viewers. We enter a museum as tourists, but upon encountering the mystery of art, we are transformed into viewers. As viewers of icons such as the Mona Lisa, Nike of Samothrace, or Jeff Koons' Rabbit, we share universal experiences and become tourists and viewers and tourists again. The exhibition is a system of mirrors, where icons, viewers, and tourists reflect each other."
The fantastic exhibition catalogue serves as a souvenir guidebook with a new essay by Bonami and an anthology of critical writings by Charles Baudelaire, Joan Didion, Umberto Eco, Julia Kristeva, the late Susan Sontag, among many others. The vibrant color reproductions and accompanying short texts lead us through the work of more than seventy-five artists including Vito Acconci, Doug Aitken, Darren Almond, Matthew Buckingham, Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Katharina Fritsch, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Jeff Koons, Matthias Moller, Gabriel Orozco, Martin Parr, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, Thomas Schutte, Simon Starling, Thomas Struth, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kyoichi Tsuzuki, Piotr Uklanski, and Andy Warhol.
Image: Andy Warhol. Double Mona Lisa, 1963. Silkscreen ink and acrylic on canvas. The Menil Collection, Houston, photograph by Hickey-Robertson, Houston.
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