Jesse Jagtiani ARTIST
InsideOut, video, 9:20 min., 2016
Tourism today may be seen as part of our consumer culture and as a kind of mass culture or popular culture. The Dominican Republic is the leader in Latin American countries that rely on tourism as a source of foreign income. “InsideOut” presents two video channels, each attempt to show a day of the tourism experience in the Dominican Republic – one inside and one outside of the resort.
While it may seem that one screen displays a more authentic view of the DR and its culture, both views present a constructed set-up designed for tourist experiences. Exploring the relationship between tourism and postmodern theory, scholar Arthur Berger (2011) juxtaposes the everyday and the exotic, debates Baudrillard’s theories on simulations and hyperreality as they relate to tourism, and compares modernist and postmodernist views on tourism, critiquing the widely assumed notion that tourists always seek authenticity and locating tourism within consumer culture.
The diptych video “InsideOut” reflects Berger’s notions of present-day tourism by presenting competing narratives, choices of consumption, consumptions of imitations, a mixture of the foreign and the familiar, as well as hyperrealities within the image-driven video and by the nature of the medium video itself.