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Dual Mirage: Tourists Dream at Project Space 2, Rivington Place

News of an interesting artistic launch this Friday, 6 August:

Dual Mirage Part 2: Tourists Dream
Publication launching & Video screening
Friday 6 August 2010, 6-9pm
Project Space 2 at Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA [Map]
Admission free
Due to the limited number of seats, RSVP is required.
RSVP: [email protected]

Dual Mirage is an independent publication in both Korean and English organised by Hyemin Son. It explores the identity of the Mirage that appears and disappears in urban spaces, with various participants: artists, architects, designers and theorists. Dual Mirage consists of three parts, and incorporates events spanning from Seoul to London, and in–between, that are related to each part of the publication.

Dual Mirage Part 2: Tourists Dream begins by presenting the moment when we are dreaming of travelling somewhere and what the engaging free and enchanting moment interprets in the global society. The place that we want to travel is somewhat in-between idealised and practical space, artificial and natural space. The moment longing for somewhere else other than here is as an instantaneous escape and is done in search of other utopia. It is presented as future and nostalgia. It is a mirage.

Tourists Dream also explores the mirage generated at the point at which the service industry circulates, within the ‘transitional space’. This is achieved by considering industries such as the tourism and hospitality industry, financial sector and real estate business, all of which are highly entangled with each other.

Dual Mirage Part 2 Tourists Dream Contributors: Hyunjoo Byeon, Oksun Kim, Uin Kim, Jungmin Kwon, Eunu Lee, Jeong-Hoo Lee, Sôm Lee, Hyemin Son, Gee Song, Juhee Youn

Artists: Kyungah Ham, Yang Ah Ham, Stuart Hawkins, Adrian Paci, Lisl Ponger, Jaye Rhee, Hiraki Sawa, Bo Kyung Suh

Curated by Hyunjoo Byeon

Accompanied by the launch of the book Dual Mirage Part 2: Tourists Dream, the video screening Tourist’s Dream draws into varied tourists’ dreams and the underlying political, cultural and socio-economical elements that construct the migratory movements in this age of global mobility. Through the artworks by eight international artists, Tourist’s Dream navigates how global mobility transforms the way to perceive the world and expands geographies by positioning oneself in a space away from everyday life; examining also the effects it has on the diverse migratory movements in our time. In addition, it explores mirages which tourism provides by rebranding spaces in a capital-saturated society and interrogates a fantasy to consume a given culture.

The artists emerged from their common interests in the issues surrounding today’s migratory movements such as tourism, the tourist industry, territoriality, cultural identity, mobility, dislocation, migration, and global communication initiate an essential convergence in Tourist’s Dream.

Kyungah Ham’s Travel & Journey (2003-05) investigates a fantasy to experience exotic cultures and cultural hierarchies in tourism by exploring the phenomenon of theme parks in Asia which replicate the symbolic monuments and landmarks of Europe and America.

In her Tourism in Communism (2005), Yang Ah Ham travels to the only possible tourism area in North Korea, Mount Kumgang, developed by South Korea’s Hyundai Group. The artist depicts that tourism can be only a superficial exploration which is isolated from ordinary life, as the video was also shot on a touristic horse-drawn carriage.

Stuart Hawkins playfully illustrates the artificiality of a touristic approach through her journey in search of the anthropologically perfect native CoCoMan in Souvenir (2006). The journey reveals the pervasiveness of globalisation that is profoundly connected with the media culture, and it has caused a strange reaction in that it seeks out notions of pure cultural authenticity.

Lisl Ponger´s déjà vu (1999) captures our desires for distant lands with its documentary sequences. This collective cliché of exotic otherness, combined with a series of narrations in various languages without subtitles, exposes the western-centered mode of perceiving the world and its hidden colonialism, consequently raising the awareness of our limited perception of reality.

In Centro di Permanenza Temporanea (2007), which is named after an Italian refugee camp, Adrian Paci transforms an airport, a symbol of global mobility in our time, into a displaced space. A group of people standing on an aircraft boarding staircase represent migrants who are stranded “in between”, yearning for a better life, and thus an inhumane side of our ever-globalising world is revealed.

Whilst Paci draws into the harsh reality of migratory movement in this age, the tiny humans and animals wandering around in the artist’s flat in Hiraki Sawa’s Migration (2003) poetically represent a restless journey in our lives and portrait our nostalgias in the global age.

In Mediterranean (2009), Jaye Rhee creates her own Mediterranean setting in her studio with objects which embody images of the location of the Mediterranean. Rhee discloses how tourism and its industry construct common desires through distributing a signified image by envisaging the place with objects that can be found in daily life.

In the work Citydel (2005), two separate videos parallel the passers-by looking at a girl in a bikini and a girl who enjoys her vacation on the artificial island in the Han River, which is located in the middle of Seoul. By creating a subtle rupture between them, Bo Kyung Suh questions what we dream for through traveling and where mirage exists.

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