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UAL Research Online

Touritalia - Condensed Culture and the Representation of Italian Itineraries in Mainstream Cinema

Faiers, Jonathan (2003) Touritalia - Condensed Culture and the Representation of Italian Itineraries in Mainstream Cinema. In: Site-Seeing. B_Books, Berlin, pp. 78-87. ISBN 3933557429

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Faiers, Jonathan

Although this outcome is a chapter in a book, its origins are in the multifaceted nature of my research.

As part of the exhibition “Site-Seeing: the Disneyfication of Cities” held at the Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, I was invited to deliver a paper as part of a lecture series. The papers were given at specifically chosen locations throughout Vienna. I delivered my paper at the top of the “Gasometer” buildings, which overlook Vienna, and the panoramic views from which informed both the subject of my paper and that of the other speaker Professor John Urry.

The paper was subsequently published as part of a book entitled “Site-Seeing”. My text, “Touritalia” considers the Disneyfication of urban spaces by examining the narratives of Italian tourism in mid-20th century Hollywood cinema. The separation and objectification of culture and urban space explicit in these American/Italian itineraries is, I suggest, comparable to theme park reconstructions of historical and cultural moments.

The talk was accompanied by a video which re-edited many of the film sequences referred to in the talk and which was shown alongside my paper. The symposium was recorded and made available to be listened to back at the Kunstlerhaus via listening stations during the remainder of the exhibition’s run.

Thus the project attempted to make audiences re-think the city: by “curating” the talks, it prompted a reconception of a traditional academic format as an experience that can be stimulating both academically and sensorially; a strategy that has subsequently proved influential in a number of interdisciplinary projects. The book serves as a testament to, and record of, this interdisciplinary emphasis.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Jonathan Faiers

Research Interests
Textiles and dress as socio-political constructions
Representations of the museum and art space in popular cinema
Artists and meta-museological practice
Psychologies of collecting
The development of the museum and 19th century spectacular space
Textiles and oppression
Current Research
My original doctoral research into the representation of the museum in mainstream cinema confirmed my abiding interest in the use of popular culture as a means of examining cultural beliefs and this continues to inform my practical and theoretical work. Both in writing and art projects I utilise popular or "unofficial" sources of knowledge such as film and T.V. in order to assess the continuing resonance and transformation of material culture within society. Past projects include work on the Huguenot silk weaving community and how textiles can signify religious persecution, and the fashionability of the Kashmir shawl as a means of exploring Anglo-Indian cross-cultural fertilisation. For 10 years I have worked on a collaborative archival project entitled "Do You really Want it That Much?"..."More!" a project that identifies, collects and re-edits sequences from popular film and T.V. to explore the representation of the art space, art criticism the role of the artist etc. The project has been regularly exhibited throughout Europe and has taken the form of single exhibitions, included in group shows on archival practice and media representation, and has also been used a pedagogical tool in an number of academic arenas. I have just completed a single authored work on "Tartan", proposing it as a multi-valent textile able to signify both tradition and rebellion due to its essentially fictional history. Sections in the book include tartan and the supernatural, tartan as an erotic textile and its relationship to modernity and the grid. I am currently organising a colloquium on the subject of "Textiles, Dress and the Production of Space" to be held in 2008 and am also at the initial stages of research into textiles and their association with oppressive regimes.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: B_Books
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2003
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:03
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:07
Item ID: 1206
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1206

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