Maria-Thalia Carras & Sofia Tournikioti
Megaron OLP, Piraeus
Disco Coppertone: beach bars, sand in your ears, cicadas, the taste of salt on your skin, a good long siesta, a stroll through a sunlit museum, a trip by sea watching a port appear slowly in the horizon, a different sense of time. The associations are endless as most people reminisce their holidays or hope once again to break away from their daily routine, to come closer to nature and to take time off.
Tourism is a booming industry, providing a setting for people to live out their fantasies and escape. In reality it provides little in terms of a break from the norm, simply allowing people to consume and purchase another life style for a few days a year. Holiday destinations and indeed whole countries re-brand themselves in a saturated and competitive economy.
Tourism is no longer necessarily about difference but instead a provider of the same, albeit with a slightly altered flavor. Hotel complexes and indeed whole cities are born, taking over more and more space, serving up what is desired rather than providing what already exists. Brochures and holiday planners direct your vision of what is worth seeing. Tourists’ insatiable gazes consume places and people, leaving behind a series of snap shots of flattened experiences. Nature is no longer left as it is – instead it is framed and contextualized within the preconceptions of a given culture, often to the sound of happy music.
locus athens invited seven artists to explore with their projects both the nostalgia and ephemeral pleasures of holidays as well as the utopian basis but also cynical strategies of the tourist industry.
Their projects work in tandem with the exhibition space, the cruise ship departure lounge in Piraeus in the port of Athens, accompanying visitors on their way to their holiday destinations and on their trip on the Aegean sea.