The wall painting planned for the Post Office Gallery is part of my exploration of the imbalances of contemporary tourism. As a resident of Paris, a vast network of low-cost flights connects me to once inaccessible corners of the ex-Soviet block. Catering mostly to tourists and migrants coming in, there has been little traffic in the other direction. Most Parisians have not taken up the opportunity to explore and forge business connections with these new destinations, despite the subsidies smaller cities provide to lure flights from big hubs.
Tourism deems some places worthy and others not. A whole industry is devoted to attracting visitors and formatting their experience. Decades of questioning hierarchies of centre and periphery have done little to change the pecking order of holiday destinations. I use the codes of tourist promotion to package zones that are off the map. I start by creating a repertoire of pictograms to magnify essential features. Each exhibition allows me to create a promotional environment for these neglected spots, much like the stands in trade fairs or old-fashioned visitors’ centres.