War Tourist es un proyecto en vídeo del artista Emanuel Licha. En ciudades que han sufrido una guerra, han pasado por algún desastre reciente o que son peligrosas, se contrata a un guía profesional y se le pide que organice una visita por las peores zonas de la ciudad. El resultado son cinco vídeo de aproximadamente veinte minutos cada uno:
War tourist wants to see, up close, the chaos and pain of others. He travels the world in search of ever-stronger sensations. His curiosity also acts to keep these events at a distance. He travels to assure himself that all this destruction and pain are well and truly somewhere else and that they don’t threaten him at home.
The guide’s talk brings two views of the place face to face: the local view and the outside view. In the relationship between the guide and War Tourist, these two views meet through an arrangement identical to that of a supplier filling a customer’s order. The guide shows the tourist what the tourist wants to see, even if it means inventing an idealized, picturesque version of reality. He expresses himself in English — the language of tourism — and, even though they are wholly intelligible, his words are subtitled and slightly altered, in that same language. This detail denotes the tourist-viewer’s sense of superiority and reinforces the idea that the guide is indeed the Other: never perfectly clear or comprehensible.
El comentario de we make money not art:
The videos brings into full view our voyeuristic attraction to human misery. The guide organizes a tour of his client’s phantasmed city, inventing an idealized version of reality, thus not reality itself. It would be easy to pretend that none of us, politically correct, smart and sophisticated people, could risk to be regarded as a war tourist. Yet, the videos are so fascinating that one realizes that it’s hard to be immune to the fascination for suffering, ruins, destruction and desolation. War Tourist is therefore a deeply disturbing series. Not only does it contains heart-breaking details about the tragedy that the cities have been through, it also reveals a voyeuristic side we’d rather pretend we never had.
Las ciudades son Sarajevo, Nueva Orleans, París, Auschwitz y Chernobyl.