Tropical Escapism Paradise
2018 | Installation | @ Graduation show of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Tropical Escapism Paradise is a sculptural installation that playfully challenges our notion of the tropics as an “escape to paradise”. Unexpected and absurdist materials in the work parody the overly familiar iconography of advertising for these designated exotic places. Where the tourist industry presents images of imported white sand and pinioned flamingos, the work exaggerates these motifs by displaying the elements in plastic á la kitsch. Stripped even further from their original context and presented with a surreal and minimalist undertone, the viewer is confronted with a hyper-tropicalized postcard scene that forces them to consider the authenticity of each of its components. Tropical Escapism Paradise creates an alluring sensory experience that at the same time borders on the repulsive. Provoked by its fallacies, the viewer is encouraged to question the relationship between—and subsequent consequences of—mass-tourism and modern living.