09 March 2010

Tourist photos, tacky and otherwise

You may have seen my photo series Not-So-Flattering Views of Famous Landmarks (and, by the way, if this book thing doesn't work out, my Plan B is to license those pics to Design Within Reach, because I think they'd make for great bleak-but-quirky hipster home decor).

For more travel photos in a similar vein, I'd like to direct your attention to the blog Tacky Tourist Photos. These guys get it--the ridiculousness of the traveler vs. tourist argument; the joy of visiting famous places and doing cheesy things, no matter how much of a cliche they are; the innate humor of photo-jacking "The Last Supper" at a wax museum in Branson.

Unlike a lot of the "zany photos of ___" blogs out there (see: LOLcats, Failblog, Unhappy Hipsters, etc., etc.), TTP isn't simply an excuse for self-aware, snarky, and/or oh-so-clever commentary.  The tone is just about right: gentle mockery. Here's what they have to say for themselves:

We know that “tacky” has a negative connotation amongst the dictionary-reading public. But we consider “tacky” to be a good thing.
We liken it to “kitschy.” The reason we did not call this project Kitschy Tourist Photos is because it would kill the alliteration.
We love to connect with other travelers not afraid to act a little goofy sometimes and who do not take themselves too seriously.

Curator Darren Garnick, by the way, is the guy who wrote the previously-mentioned (and decidedly not tacky) essay about badly-behaved tourists at Auschwitz. I love that he has serious world traveler cred (the guy's been to Vanuatu. Have you been there? Could you even find it on a map? Yeah, I didn't think so.) but still enjoys taking cheesy tourist pics.  

And with that, I present to you a few of my own photos, in a series that I will call, in the spirit of the pretentious artwork titles at the already-mocked Venice Biennale: "Untitled. (The Traveler.) (In Famous Places.) (With A Book.) (That is Very Old.) (And Outdated.) (Part I)"

Mozart memorial, Vienna

Museumplein, Amsterdam

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

The Forum, Rome

Piazza San Marco, Venice

[Just don't feed the pigeons in Venice. You might get hit with a 500-euro fine.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

You know the drill: keep it civil and on-topic, don't spam, don't run with scissors, floss. For posts older than three weeks, comments will be moderated before publication.