Visual Culture and Tourism

Visual Culture and Tourism

Visual Culture and Tourism

Visual Culture and Tourism

Synopsis

From postcards and paintings to photography and film, tourism and visual culture have a long-standing history of mutual entanglement. For centuries art has inspired many an intrepid traveller, and tourism provides an insatiable market for indigenous art, 'authentic' or otherwise.This book explores the complex association between tourism and visual culture throughout history and across cultures. How has tourism been linked to images of colonial expansion? Why are we so intrigued by 'lost' places, such as Tutankhamun's tomb or Machu Picchu, South America's lost city of the Incas? What is the relationship between art, tourism and landscape preference? What role did commercial tourist photographers play in the imagination of Victorian Britain? Drawing upon examples from across the globe, this exciting new contribution to a popular subject illustrates how tourism and visual culture intersect with one another and in the process become contested ground.

Excerpt

This book brings together two distinctive cultural formations: visual culture and tourism. Each of these configurations has generated a large volume of critical and theoretical discussion on its own, but the ways in which the two interact have been examined much less frequently. Scattered studies have appeared on the interrelationship of visual culture and tourism but this is the first volume that focuses entirely upon some of the diverse ways in which visual practices and representations have been implicated in the rituals and experiences of tourism. In doing so, the book aims to make a significant contribution to the ongoing debates surrounding visual culture and tourism while avoiding the premature closing of questions that deserve to remain open.

Both the fields of visual culture and tourism studies extend across disciplinary boundaries and have attracted the attention of writers from a variety of specialist backgrounds. The heterogeneous character of the inquiry is reflected in the professional affiliations of our authors, which range from geography, art history and tourism studies to history, anthropology and urban studies as well as touching upon the practices of fine art, photography and architecture. Each chapter brings its own particular perspective to bear on the investigation, and, as will become apparent even to the casual browser, there is no consensus regarding either the methodologies and theories employed or the choice of objects for study, or even the basic definitions of the key terms of visual culture and tourism. Rather than gloss over the dissensions and attempt to impose a misleading conformity on a multifarious body of texts, we have chosen to affirm the contrasts as positive and even necessary factors in a multidisciplinary exchange. We do not, in this introductory chapter, seek to determine or to define: rather, we wish to explore the respective and relational processes of visual culture and tourism. It is with these issues in mind that we have structured our introduction along the lines of a dialogue between an art historian (Nina Lübbren) and a cultural geographer (David Crouch). We invite our readers to make connections, identify implications and ponder contradictions across an even wider range of disciplines.

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