Hotel-Camp: Liminality and Heterotopia in Tourism

Hotel-Camp: Liminalität und Heterotopie im Tourismus

The Internacional-klub in Poreč, Architect: Božo Lazar in cooperation with the painter Bruno Mascarelli, 1969. Source: Archive of Plava.

In the context of the artistic research Vijera Pavlovna’s Fourth Dream by FOKUS GRUPA, architectural theorist, artist and curator Michael Zinganel will be speaking about hotel-camps, liminality and heterotopia in tourism. The talk will take place at the Kunstpavillon of the Tiroler Künstler:innenschaft at 7 pm on Tuesday 21st June, 2016.

As opposed to “travel”, for a long time the educated elites regarded “tourism” as a negative distinguishing foil: as flight from everyday life seen as disaffected – or at least externally controlled – and therefore as flight from sociopolitical responsibility to improve the conditions of life and work (Enzensberger). In the German-speaking countries “mass tourism” was even denounced frequently as fascist or fascistoid mass conditioning. On the other hand, since the end of the 19th century the “hotel” had also functioned as a stage for social interaction across the classes – ultimately, in the 1920s, as a model for Soviet communal buildings, with no less an aim than revolution of a backward-looking family model and women’s liberation from the work of reproduction. In France, after the Second World War, stays at simple camping sites were seriously conceived—by the inventor of all-inclusive holidays—as a threshold arena free of everyday problems, which would make it easier for one-time enemies in war, collaborators and resistance fighters to become reconciled and to reconstruct a sense of community in the shattered “Grande Nation”. In former socialist Yugoslavia in particular, holiday camps served the primary purpose of international understanding—among the peoples of Yugoslavia at first, and later the peoples of the whole world, regardless of their political block allegiance during the Cold War.

Fokus Grupa is an artist collective based in Rijeka, Croatia. Their work points to the social, economical and political frames of the art field. Their practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and they work across art, design and curating. Fokus Grupa concentrate on the relations between art and its public manifestations, in terms of working culture, aesthetics, and social and economic exchange values. They have exhibited in museums and venues internationally including: Offbiennale Budapest, Visual Culture Research Center, Kiev; A3bandas, Madrid; MACRO, Rome;, MCA, Ljubljana, MCA, Zagreb, Magazzino del Sale Venice; Calvert 22, London; Tranzit, Bratislava; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; SKUC Gallery, Ljubljana; Miroslav Kraljević Gallery, Zagreb; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow.

Michael Zinganel works as an architecture theorist, cultural historian, artist and curator in Vienna. He is co-founder and principal of the research association Tracing Spaces (together with Michael Hieslmair) and a research associate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Most recently he co-edited Holiday after the Fall – Seaside Architecture and Urbanism in Bulgaria and Croatia (together with Elke Beyer and Anke Hagemann, Berlin: jovis 2013).


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