The World as My Background
This project was made during a residency with the Romanian Cultural Institute in London. Its subject matter is tourist culture and the particularities of contemporary traveling. Before visiting a place, most of us have already seen it in pictures on the internet, in adds, and reportages. At the core of the tourist experience lies a confrontation of our pictorially informed expectations with reality. And it often happens that the image enhancement techniques render the promotional representation more attractive than the real place, resulting in disappointing traveling experiences. Moreover, our travels have become increasingly standardized, since people generally have the same variety of sites to reach and are delivered the same presentations. Together with this constant and somewhat unavoidable pre-visualisation of places, standardization capitalizing on cultural cliches leads to diminishing the individual relation of tourists to the place they are traveling through and ultimately decreases their feeling of being present in the world.
I used a film stereoscopic camera for taking pictures of the tourists in popular sites in London, but after development and scanning I digitally edited them in such a way that only the figure of the tourist is 3D while the surroundings become 2D. Basically I applied to the second image the background of the first image. The effect is a perceivable disconnect between the figure of the tourist and their surroundings, as if, instead of being immersed in the environment, they would stand in front of a picture.