Sol Calero’s Agencia Viajes Paraiso approaches the underlying relationships present in the construction and self-constitution of countries as tourist destinations. She makes use of her own take on the aesthetics of domestic Latin American culture and homogenized tropicalism to reclaim it as a source of knowledge and identity rather than a clichéd perception of this aesthetic heritage. For Kunstpalais Erlangen, Sol Calero has created an immersive installation that takes the audience through the different stages and implications of leisure travelling.
Entering the show, the visitors find themselves in a waiting room with a TV screen, where they are presented with a series of works by artists dealing with the complexities of power relationships between historically privileged positions, and their role in the construction of stereotypes that respect and perpetuate biased visions of race, gender and identity. In a second room, the audience finds a travel agency, not only reproducing objecti ed clichés – tiny airplanes and hammocks, clocks displaying different time zones and fake plants – but also hosting the employees of a local agency who are on-site offering their usual services during the exhibition. In the successive spaces, the visitor is surrounded by references to the fantasizing stage of projecting a trip.
This is completed in the final room, where one can dive into the promised environment of disconnect and relaxation, inside a space which resembles a tropical lounge – made to meet the expectations of controlled exoticism.
With video contributions by artists Joiri Minaya, Cristóbal Gracia and Josep Maynou. Work selection curated by Sira Pizà Airas.
Photo Credits: Kilian Reil