‘EVERYONE IS AN ARTIST, EVERYONE IS A TOURIST’. JOSÉ DÍAZ CUYÁS

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George Cruikshank: “All The World Going To See The Great Exhibition of 1851", (1851).

Everyone is an artist, everyone is a tourist is a session led by José Díaz Cuyás. It is also the first encounter of Space is The Place/The Place is Space. The structure of the program will take the shape of periodical encounters. It aims to analyse the role of art as a critical practice which offers tools for stopping, looking and situating ourselves in the world; for creating situations and imagining ways of living and producing space.

Everyone is an artist, everyone is a tourist
Ever since its historical origin in approximately 1800, aesthetic experience has held itself to be openly opposed to the experience of the tourist. The former would be the prerogative of a free, cultured, creative individual, whereas the second would pertain to an irreflexive, alienated, programmed human being. But once art in the seventies divested itself of the protective shield of aesthetic experience; once the artwork turned from being an object to be contemplated into an experience in itself – yet another lived experience – the old hierarchy between authentic and spurious experiences became difficult to sustain.

With the current general mercantilisation of experience, large-scale art events must ensure they are distinguished from mere tourism. Dominant artistic discourses in the wake of Critical Theory largely fulfil the comforting role of separating the alienated an idiotic from the conscious and critical. Yet to continue to uphold this division in an art world crowded with snobs on tour – ourselves – is starting to become slightly comical. The Museum and Tourism were born at the same time, and have similar historical functions: firstly, to order and unify the dislocated fragments of the world – History, Nature – in a single location; and secondly, the equally impossible task of serving up an illusion of unity in the spectacular staging of History and Nature in spaces discretely conditioned for the traveller. The muzeumizing of the world and its “touristizing” have always been a part of the same process; except that tourism is the “execrable” part of culture and modern art.

What is new is that now, massification and mercantilisation have saturated the discursive devices that held them separate, and starkly unveiled the common root of art and tourism: everything is art when everything is merchandise, just as we are all artists when we are all tourists.

To take part in the session from 17:00 to 19:30 and be sent the reading list, please contact  bulegoa@bulegoa.org

José Díaz Cuyás is an Associate Professor of aesthetic and contemporary art at the Department of Fine Arts, University of La Laguna, Spain. His research is focused on the body as mediator of artistic and visual experience, and on the theoretical and practical consequences of the Sixties’ avant-gardes. His last publications are the Concreta nº10 about art and tourism, and “Movilizados por lo real: turistas, soldados, artistas” (about Marcel Broodthaers) in Arquitectura: lenguajes fílmicos, Tabakalera, 2018. He was director of Acto magazine, with special issues about Duchamp, Ground, Laugh and Fantoms (http://www.revista-acto.net/). Nowadays is coordinator of the research group TURICOM, The Touristic experience: Image, Body and Death in the leisure culture. (http://turicom.es/).