Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Last Minute

Despite appearances, the everyday world already knows some utopias. Tourism is one of these. The tourist is the one who is able to imagine the whole of the planet as places of transition. This utopia can be judged in two different ways. Either one considers that this is the final stage of the consumer society, you are sold movement, displacement, with some sun or sand to boot.
Marc Augé: -Tourism could well be last utopia- 
I’ve run on this text digging for some background for the thoughts that were dwelling in my head while working on this painting. I was trying to find some writings to back up the premise of the work. This one was about the concept of tourism as one of the last utopias around. And I must admit, I haven’t expected to come along something as precisely aimed as Marc’s notion. 
But how did it all begin in the first place? This work was triggered by the already famous reward given annually by Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb and T-com. So after thinking for a while, I saw that my problem is my own framework. Which is painting. I have to respond the topic within this medium, even though the first thing that comes to mind, when thinking simultaneously of T-com and Media as art subject, is probably a bunch of rendered CGI stuff backed up musically by Duffy or Amy or whatever. So I dwelled upon these notions for a while. It became clear soon enough that these topics resolve on, or breathe the same air with the idea of utopia. Media as offered and presented to us by corporate giants such as T-com is here to constantly brings us closer to that comfortable future, bringing us commodities of the immediate time shaped in technological products. This reads as utopia. Then tourism came to my mind. I imagined it as a good way to portray a situation, a condition if you like. Michaud claims the tourism will eventually save art, saying that the only reason museums as the home to art are there is because of the tourists. Tourism also reads as commodity as Augé puts it. So for all these reasons concerning art and corporate giants in relation to individual I decided that tourists are a good subject for this issue. What also appealed to me is the tight relation of the tourism and global climate issues. Destinations are chosen regarding the geography, the weather or the climate in general. This happened to be the reason for the painting. It turns out that, since you cannot control the weather, you have to be careful not to make any last minutes during any of monsoon or cyclone periods because they kind of crash the party uninvited. The whole thing laid bare reads almost as the biblical payback to poor tourists for not doubting the malicious system and its offerings. I know… don’t get me wrong; I am the one who is confused. What should I make out of the situation of having the responsibility as an artist to critically address media contest, but do not think of leaving the city without iPod, having to say: in your face corporate giants! But essentially corporate giants play it fair within the parameters of their realm. It is me among those tourists who has hard time positioning my stand I guess, but that is what makes working so much fun in the end.