25.09 - 25.10.2015

Alexandra Anikina. Estrangement. 2015. Still from the video. Courtesy of the artist

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Free admission

Place: National Centre for Contemporary Arts, the small hall

Organizer: National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA)

Curator: Sasha Burkhanova

Artists: Alexandra Anikina (Russia/UK), Sofia Gavrilova (Russia), Irineu Destourelles (Cape Verde), Marc Larré (Spain), Sabina Tupan (Romania/UK)

Customer Experience exhibition is dedicated to the topic of tourism, or rather the “tourism imaginaries” (a term coined by anthropologist Naomi Leite). Young artists from various countries will present their video works, in which they criticize tourism mythologems: sustained ideas of places, formed by travelers prior to the trip. Such ideas include: top ten monuments, popular walking routes, a set of interesting “history facts”; a short phrasebook. Thus territories and countries lose their identities, transforming from real, live places into sterile pages of a guidebook: the so-called “non-places”, the main goal of which is to meet expectations and provide opportunities to make money.

Internet resources have replaced tour agencies, changing the way we prepare for trips; however, the mechanisms of producing the “tourism imaginaries” and exploiting them have remained intact.

The artists offer a sightseeing tour of the planet as a synchronized “non-place”: a space with a common mythology with no time zones and purposely removed frontiers between the local and the global.

Synchronicities by Spanish artist Marc Larré is a video album of home installations, in which global events appear in the format of a Twitter feed in real time.

Romanian artist Sabina Tupan studies the issue of national identity. Her video works, This is in the tourist brochures and That's not in the tourist brochures, are dedicated to the nostalgia of immigrants moving from Eastern Europe to the West and their process of assimilation into the Western European culture that they idealize. The theme of national identity crisis is continued by Irineu Destourelles in his work New Words for Mindelo's Urban Creole.

Sofia Gavrilova’s Territorial Unities, created in collaboration with Kirill Shirokov, looks like a demo video for a space editing program, in which everything seems possible – except for the “save image” option.

Defamiliarization by Alexandra Anikina is a video research project on the relationship between space and language by means of homonymy and metaphors writing history of the imagined lands from times when our planet was based upon backs of elephants, until now.

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