Feature Shoot, one of our favorite photo blogs, featured tourist attractions in their latest iteration of Group Show, their series curated from reader submissions.
What struck us about these photos is how they manage to recontextualize these places that have almost been worn away by having so many photos of them taken.
There are two different kinds of photos here: those with tourists in them, and those without. What’s interesting is how the inclusion of tourists and the absence of tourists really determine the recontextualization of these places.
Take, for instance, “Disneyland Paris” by Tim Johannis:
If we got a wider view of the context of this shot, including the kids with their mouse-ear hats and the parents pushing strollers, this set would look artificial. But because there is none of the context, and because the light is so eerie, the colors so muted, the leaves so cubed, Disneyland looks like something out of a Dali painting. It gives new meaning to the “dreamlike” aspects of this human-made landscape.
“Musee du Louvre, Paris” by Anthony Georgis, on the other hand, features the tourists of this attraction to a very interesting effect.
There are several dimensions of observation and reflection in this photo. There is the photographer observing the tourists. There are the tourists observing, ostensibly, the art behind the photographer, whose back must be turned to the art (in an act of defiance, in a way, making art by turning his back on some of the most famous and historical art in the world). The tourists, therefore, also appear to be observing the photographer, and therefore observing the artist turning them into art. And then there’s the painting, behind the tourists and just out of focus, of a crowd much like them, captured in a frame, as they are being captured in frame. This photo, by contextualizing the Louvre’s tourists in an original way, gives a different perspective on a museum people most associate with the painting of a woman and her now-cliched ambiguous smile.
Check out the rest of the photos in Group Show: Photos of Tourist Attractions.