CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

25.9.15 - 25.10.15

6th Moscow International Biennale of Art : Special Project
(hosted by National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow)

In the times of advanced capitalism tourism becomes an ultimate form of ‘velvet colonisation’. The factory of “non-places”, it produces sterile territories with synchronised cultural identities worldwide. Local history and mythology - the key reasons for a “white westerner” to travel aboard - are not destroyed though: they are as if converted into a tourist brochure - to meet the traveller’s expectations about places.

The aesthetics and format of the exhibition may remind you the experience of spending time in the lounge of a tourist agency, browsing the information about the countries to visit. Taking the standard sections of a tourist brochure as a starting point for criticism of propaganda of the “ideal overseas”, the selected artists set up a sightseeing tour around our planet as a homogeneous “non-place” - with shared mythology, blurred time zones, and deliberately corrupted distinction between the global and the local.

To imagine the future of historic monuments with Marc Larré. To feel nostalgic about the vanishing notion of national identity with Sabina Tupan and Irineu Destourelles. To meditate on the art of territorial editing in the virtual space of Sofia Gavrilova. To watch the birth of a “non-place”, a country with a chameleon culture, created by Alexandra Anikina. What would you choose? The industry of “non-place” tourism is constantly adjusting the range of its services. To meet your needs.

— Sasha Burkhanova, 2015.

(Photographs: Egor Slizyak, 2015)