Natacha de Mahieu, THEATRE OF AUTHENTICITY
This series, inspired by personal journeys, questions the way we travel and the reasons we have for going to specific places. Using tens or hundreds of images taken in selected tourist hotspots within a defined time frame and added to a single collage, Theatre of Authenticity interrogates what seem to be the new tourist norms and the objectivity of the photographic medium. Travel posts on social media appear to answer to certain aesthetic and social codes which people are using as if they were actors, creating their own online performance in landscapes as visual commodities. How strange is it that tourists are trying to escape social conventions in search of authentic and introspective experiences but end up in the same natural environments, living the same experiences and behaving in the same way as thousands of fellow travelers? Selected locations are based on the number of geo-tagged posts on social networks. To make these collages, the same editing tools as those available on social media were used. Like them, photography lose its objectivity, thus enlarging the gap between idealized pictures on Instagram and the reality of the environment in which those are taken, reducing human presence to a texture, covering fragile but majestic pieces of nature.