Souvenir de Voyage

La Galleria Nazionale


'Souvenir de Voyage' is a sort of experience that wants to take back the real meaning of "souvenir" from the cheap mass product. The project focalises on the real value of travelling between Europe and China taking back a piece of culture.

Photographs taken during 19th-century Grand Tours, early 20th-century guidebooks for travellers, travel diaries, a series of advertisements ranging from artistic illustration to kitsch, the irony of Pop Art, the contemporary languages of video and installation. These are just some of the surprises in store in an exhibition which seeks to understand how the way we travel has changed under the impetus of globalization and the mass post-modern world.

The exhibition opens with “A voyage in time”, a story through images of the great Russian director, Andrei Tarkovsky, who undertook his own Grand Tour in 1983 in the company of poet and screenwriter, Tonino Guerra. Their way of travelling yielded nothing to the temptations of memory, but gathered images to appropriate themselves and the world.

“Photographing”, stated Susan Sontag, “means appropriating the thing you are photographing. It means establishing a special relationship with the world that gives a sensation of knowledge and thus of power”.

The tale of this voyage introduces the key theme of the exhibition in a critical manner: the global mass tourism industry today inundates us with images of places with a “tourist slant”. These are “images of images” which go to feed our mental maps and condition our image of the world in a precise way: that of the progressive superimposition of tourist and cultural spaces. The exhibition is promoted in association with Overseas Investment Union of the Investment Association of China | Italy Office.


November 9, 2018 - January 6, 2019