The Learning Network is now live

Home  /  Stories  / 

Sightseeing

21 Oct 2010
In an era of electronic media, Sightseeing presents armchair travel through the eyes of

In an era of electronic media, TheNewDowse is delighted to announce the opening of Sightseeing, an exhibition based around 90 postcards.

In an era of electronic media, TheNewDowse is delighted to announce the opening of Sightseeing, an exhibition based around 90 postcards. Curated by Hanna Scott, Sightseeing features images that are not usually considered tourist attractions; the talent behind the camera is not travel photographers but 16 leading contemporary artists from New Zealand and Germany. Sightseeing opens 23 October and runs until 23 January 2011.

The artists involved are: Elger Esser, Haruhiko Sameshima, Sarah Schönfeld and Shmuel Hoffman, Jeremy Diggle, Anne Noble, Ann Shelton, Wayne Barrar, Grit Schwerdtfeger, Eva Leitolf, Doris Frohnapfel, John Di Stefano, Frank Breuer, Karin Apollonia-Müller, Fiona Amundsen and Mark Adams.  Sightseeing’s German influences not only reflect on Germany as the birthplace of picture postcards, but on the way that landscape and tourist photography are closely allied.  It responds to a generation of photographers who have adopted the postcard format as their own, and as a medium of its own.

“The project highlights the way that artists travel and make research,” says curator, Hanna Scott, “Their images are often fuelled by an unusual impulse, like Wayne Barrar photographing underground spaces, or Ann Shelton following in the footsteps of a woman billed by media as America's first female serial killer." 

Scott is fascinated by the idea that we might experience landscapes primarily through photography, rather than with real experience. She says the concept evolved from an interest in travel seen through someone else’s eyes.

Sightseeing is both an exhibition and a book, the box set of colour and black and white, concertina folding postcards “literally become the exhibition, unsettling that way that we traditionally use postcards to venerate the landscape, because these sites are not typical tourist sites,” says Scott.

Sightseeing has its New Zealand première at TheNewDowse on the same day as its world première closes in Plymouth, UK. It will then travel to Germany and other European sites.

Supported by The Goethe Institut, Massey University College of Creative Arts, Federal Foreign Office and Creative NZ.