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Preparing for Serious Events

installation, 2 channnel video (colour, sound), 3', 2007

 

This project, conceived for the exhibition Elsewhere at USFCam, comes from the mind of a War Tourist visiting America and Florida. War Tourist is now creating his own traumatic events.

The first place one often looks for when arriving in a new city is the tourist office. It represents the place where the Other is welcome, and where a city is presented at its best. Burning the tourist office means that the city will now be forbidden to foreigners, and it's a way to isolate oneself from the outside world. This is the first step to take to initiate political chaos (coup, protests…)

In recent years, Florida has been the focus of attention in the turmoil of American elections. It's even surprising that this situation didn't lead to any uprising. The project Preparing For Serious Events intends to stage what could be the first step to such uprising.

This project consists in the construction of a small building, made up as a tourist office. The construction is made like a theatre set, and installed in a public space. Material is installed (cameras, projectors…) to record the following action: a group of five young people approaches this building and starts organizing to burn it. They set fire to the building and flee.

In front of the building, a group of cheerleaders is encouraging the rioters. The presence of this group indicates that a confusion remains to understand if we are witnessing a serious event or a mere entertainment.

Once it finished burning, the construction set was dismantled, transported, and rebuilt (as it now is, burnt) in the exhibition space. The two videos are also presented in the exhibition space. The first video shows the riot and the burning of the construction, while the second video, shown on an opposite screen, shows the group of cheerleaders encouraging the action.

What the spectators see is the real artefact of a fake tourist office that really burnt, and the real documentation of a fake event.

 

 

Presented at
usf Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, Aug. 27-Oct. 13, 2007

Realized with the support of
USF Contemporary Art Museum and Institute for Research in Art, Tampa
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Thanks to
David Norr, Margaret Miller, Don Fuller and David Stringfellow, Tony Palms, Dave Waterman and the staff of the USF CAM / Institute for Research in Art, Gregory Green and his students, Neil Bender, John Byrd, Julie Weitz, Ireneo Cabreros, and the staff of the USF School of Art and Art History

bibliography
Elsewhere, texts by Derek Murray and David Norr, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, 2007
PERKINS, Gregg, "Critic's Picks: Elsewhere", Artforum, New York, October 2007
BENNETT, Lennie, "Not a Trip, a Quest", St-Petersburg Times, St-Petersburg, Sept. 18, 2007