001. In search of authenticity

TRAUM-reisen zu Aldi preisen

Our society has this abnormal almost immoral hunger for money, and we know all to well that when there is a scarcity of a particular product people are willing to pay the ultimate price. Authenticity is one of those products, especially in the western world of today where we are all looking for this glimpse of purety which hasn’t yet been affected by society. Authenticity is thereby transformed into a commercial product with a lot of economic potential, a manipulated commercialization of authenticity.

TRAUM – reisen zu Aldi preisen questions the meaning of authenticity in the world of tourism, our human desire for it and how this desire thrifts us further away from it. There occurs a practise of staged authenticity based on our western romantic longings, carefully constructed for the tourist. This makes it harder to find something that still carries the pure essence of a place, the essence of otherness, character and identity. The city is reduced into a product, a product that repeats itself, with a loss of character, individuality and identity associated with every rehearsal.



You can look at authenticity as a vicious circle, when we get to close, it disappears. We will look harder, and again it disappears. You can never really touch it, so does it exist? As I was writing this sentence down one line unexpectedly slipped in an other direction and broke the vicious circle. Spontaneity isn’t manipulable, spontaneity is the authentic experience we are longing for, can the tour guide take you there?

I created a couple of molds of souvenirs I had in my place, cheap souvenirs from China that didn’t cost me more than 5 euro.
The rehearsal process of filling them up over and over again created an image of a generic collection.
A generic collection representing the consequences of mass tourism on the city, the loss of character, identity, individuality, and thereby the loss of authenticity.

Just the spontaneous differences that accrued during the process distinguish them from each other,
these differences characterize them and give them their own identity back.

You won’t find it here.

From: Steve P.
Date: april 2018
Subject: Tourist trap
Found on: Tripadvisor

By positioning the loss of authenticity in a bright TL Aldi spotlight I want to make the viewer realize the truth and irony behind the promises of authenticity made by the tourist sector. The truth of how our western romantic longing for the authentic experience actually evokes the opposite and creates a world wherein authenticity is extinguish and the staged effect will be the undergird of the existence of the sector.

Iedereen wil op de foto op de trap.

From: Geuzer
Date: nov 2018
Subject: Bling bling
Found on: Tripadvisor