I love to travel, but I am always lost. Even in parking lots, I easily find myself turned around, out of place, constantly feeling like a visitor. I have been thinking about being a tourist, looking for signs, unsure of where I am, yet filled with a sense of exploration. It is a simultaneous experience of panic and excitement in the unknown.
The work in this exhibition is a literal exploration of these conditions. My hope is that this exhibition acts as an invitation to translate and interact with place (where we are), experience (how we interpret), the ideal (what we hope and at times expect given our access to the virtual) and the actual (physical reality). In this age we have unbelievable access and a tremendous number of tools to direct us and allow us to share. But, are we getting any closer to a more whole experience? Have we stepped beyond our post-vacation family slideshow to commemorate our travels? I really don’t know, but I hope this work invites you to ask questions and explore.
The exhibition features very wide paintings with images taken on my travels using my phones panoramic photo feature that are coupled with ideal images found on the Internet of the same location. There is a collaborative project with three “tourist” paintings, with suitcase, sunglasses and Hawaiian shirt, which have traveled, and will continue to travel the country to be photographed on their trips. I have also created an interactive piece via Instagram, where I ask that you take photographs of yourself in front of any of the work in the exhibition and share it on Instagram, #atourist, @aavega1.
And please do not forget to visit the souvenir shop.