The Unbearable Lightness of Giving a F**k – A Thousand Faroe Islands
A Multi-Dimensional and Collaborative Art Project about the emerging mass tourism on the Faroe Islands
A Thousand Gásadalurs (With and Without the Hipster Tourists), 2017
(Diptych, digital print on photographic paper, here on display as a gif-animation)
This series comments a phenomena within travel photography and mass tourism. The travellers all come to the same spot, take almost the same photo. In this case the focal point is the waterfall in Gásadalur, which is the most photographed place in the Faroe Islands.
There has been a change within the past few years in how Faroe Islands are branded, marketed or narrated through visual imagery. The aim is to attract the adventure explorer traveller, the heroic travel photographer and the hipster, to “discover the undiscovered lands”, and the travellers do exactly that – portray the remote wilderness and the cute little villages with grass roof tops.
The travellers portray majestic and sublime landscape sceneries that can be further used in marketing the lands to an ever growing mass of contemporary explorers arriving to these lands to claim the same sceneries. The heroic explorer traveller places one person in the picturesque landscape. It is the archetype of this contemporary explorer (the tourist, the brief visitor), who had this specific destination on their bucket list. The evidence can be published on Instagram, so it can be used for further marketing. The aesthetics for this kind of (commercial) landscape and travel photography derives from the romantic era landscape painting, in the spirit of David Kaspar Friedrich and his painting “The Wanderer above the Fog” (1818). The gaze of the tourist, as far his eyes can see, claims these unmarked territories (or so they are let to believe).
The diptych was part of our first NoVA art exhibition Visual Conversations with Cosmic Silence at NODE Gallery in Aalto University of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland.
This photo series belong to a larger collaborative art project about the emerging mass tourism on the Faroe Islands and is a work-in-progress. I have been visiting the Faroe Islands since 2008 and working together with people from the art and cultural fields in different long-term and socio-culturally sustainable art projects. I consider Faroe Islands as one of my homes.
I received Mobility Funding from the Nordic Culture Point to initiate the collaboration with the local people and to start the project.