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18 Jul 2008

BEYOND PARADISE - Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam



Opening: Saturday 19 July, 5.00 – 7.00 p.m. Exhibition: 20 July – 7 September Tuesday to Sunday from 11.00 to 17.00

+31 (0)20 42 20 471
+31 (0)20 62 61 730

Rozenstraat 59
1016 NN Amsterdam

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Bik Van der Pol, Patricia Esquivias, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mustafa Hulusi, Arnout Killian, Matthieu Laurette, Sascha Pohle, Lisl Ponger, Erkan Özgen & Sener Özmen

Guest curators: Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura

In collaboration with Jelle Bouwhuis (curator SMBA)

'The […] ambivalence of tourism, which also applies to our world in general, is reality and its copy at a time when copies are increasingly more realistic and reality is increasingly penetrated by the illusion of fiction' (Marc Augé)

In the exhibition 'Beyond Paradise' tourist image production and narratives, as we know them from travel brochures, postcards, advertisements, films and so on, are appropriated in the works presented. They reflect on the construction of expectations, experiences and the social imaginary of places evoked by the ubiquitous and pervasive culture of tourism we are living in nowadays.

The starting point of this exhibition also stems from the paradox that tourism still involves romantic, if not paradisiacal imagery, whereas the tourist experience is actually shattered by all kinds of forces that haunt our daily lives: commercialism, gentrification, the complex entanglement of migration and tourist destinations, war, and fear of terrorism. But it is also significant for the strength of our tourism-minded culture that even such threatening notions and experiences can be integrated in a package tour.

'Beyond Paradise' investigates modes of representation and visibility, starting from the mass production of images – a scheme central to the leisure industry – and the idealized imagery of places, and moves away from the familiar Tourist Gaze to construct unexpected fictional or personal narratives. The promises of these idealistic and seductive images are appropriated and eventually shifted in the works presented in the exhibition, to reveal other realities, and take us beyond paradise in order to question one of the greatest fictions of our times: that of tourism.

The exhibition is accompanied by the free SMBA Newsletter nr. 105 (EN/NL) with an introduction by the curators.

Film Programme: Thursday, 4 September 7.30 p.m.

Curated by Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura

Maison Descartes, Institut Français des Pays-Bas, Amsterdam

In the framework of 'Beyond Paradise' SMBA organizes a film programme in Maison Descartes in Amsterdam on Thursday, September 4, starting at 7:30 p.m. The programme aims to present broader perspectives on some aspects of tourism activities and fictional representation, in various geographical and political contexts. The programme features work by: Kamal Aljafari, Olivo Barbieri, Bik Van der Pol, Mounir Fatmi, Kwang-Ju Son and Quirine Racké & Helena Muskens. The complete programme will be announced on the SMBA website and by Maison Descartes.

Supported by:

Institut Français des Pays-Bas and in partnership with Maison Descartes