While the question about the future of tourism makes headlines worldwide, Palma’s museum of contemporary art features a noteworthy exhibition about its history. Remarkable not only because of the timing. „War approaches to tourism: All inclusive“ by Marina Planas at Es Baluard depicts the development of the sector as a crusade. Kind of a civil war against the island, the nature and the people of Mallorca. And she does this, of all things, by exhibiting postcard motifs and providing them with critical comments.
We all know the bon mot about the traveler who destroys paradise by finding it. And sending picture postcards to his loved ones. It is the irony of the exhibition at Es Baluard that it was Josep Planas i Montanyà who shaped the image of the Mallorca traveller and Mediterranean tourism like no other. With his photographs and postcards he created the place of longing for millions of northern Europeans. And the image of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands.
Now, his granddaughter Marina Planas contrasts the cozy midcentury vacation dream with its consequences, from gentrification to environmental destruction. The visual artist radically changes the viewer’s perspective by confronting him or her with the social implications. In the center of the exhibition, between the mosaic of pictures and short texts and a photo wallpaper, a bed and a drink seem to invite the visitor to spent his vacation right here in the museum. But the TV set at the bedside plays videos of balconing and partying tourists in Magaluf.
Reminding us of the scenes that led to the shutdown of this entertainment model only a few weeks ago. At least temporary. The power of pictures is inscribed in the floor of the exhibition: “The technological evolution of photography has always been in hands of military demands. However, in the Balearic Islands the innovation of the technique evolved as a result of tourism”.
The exhibition runs through September 27, 2020.