Planas Archive iterations
What Martin Parr would have seen, 2018
What Martin Parr would have seen, 2017.
Arrangement of 18 images. Enlarged details of postcards.
Fons Arxiu Planas
Josep Planas, devised the iconographic image of the island during the 50s, 60s and 70s by producing postcards that traveled and reached many other places in Europe, attracting more tourists. For the construction of this series I have chosen 18 details from among 30,000 postcards belonging to the Planas Archive. The postcards are the very exemplifications of the memory and the souvenir, but they also give a testimony that activates the circulation of a cultural and historical memory, which is why these pieces inevitably function as signs of historical processes.
Highlighting the attention to detail on these cards and viewed from a current perspective reveals a certain irony. At times I feel like Sherlock Holmes looking for details that appear in the photographs of Martin Parr. The difference is that in the case of the images of the 60s the tourist is glorified and provokes an innocent sympathy. These are years in which economic growth and openness are seen with happy eyes and radiant images are generated. That image of the most advanced European visitor is far from the one we have today, a fact that demonstrates Michel Foucault's historical a priori hypothesis that determines that our approaches to the historical past are more cultural fantasies than objective observations.
However, the blurring of the figures caused by the plot that appears when minuscule details are enlarged causes the faces of the tourists portrayed to lose definition, a fact that emphasizes the anonymous nature of the visitors. The overcrowding of millions of people who visit the islands year after year causes these people to be perceived as a phenomenon rather than as an individual. These images represent everyday scenes of the tourist's day-to-day life that we do not perceive in any other way than this: in a bikini, and at the beach or pool. The idea of repetition of the same scenes affects this perception and refers to the seriality of the photographic archive, underlining the idea of the reproducibility of the medium, a medium that evolves at the same rate as the phenomenon of tourism.
The image panel is not posed in series but is rather an irregular arrangement. The images function as floating nodes in space, relating the virtual processes under which the memory works and relating them to the virtual processes under which the internet works, the system that today works as a postcard and as a memory in real time to through facebook or instagram platforms.