Book launch - Delphine Bedel: All that is solid melts into air – Notes on Tourism

with a lecture by John Urry: Revisiting the Tourist Gaze

Thursday May 15 at 8 p.m.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam

Language: English

Free admission

Doors open at 7.30 p.m.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam is pleased to invite you to the launch of the publication All that is solid melts into air ? Notes on Tourism by visual artist and independent curator Delphine Bedel. Within the framework of this book presentation British sociologist John Urry will give a lecture entitled ?Revisiting the Tourist Gaze?, followed by a short introduction to the publication and a round table discussion with some of the contributing authors.

Notes on Tourism is an ongoing artistic project that aims to produce a discursive platform through lectures and writings, to bring into question the visual representation of leisure, architecture, and cultural artefacts. As one of the largest world industries today, tourism influences our way of life and reflects upon changing economic and social realities.

All that is solid melts into air explores controversial tourist destinations and cultural heritages. One of those is the Nazi holiday resort of Prora on the Baltic island of Rügen. Its identity, use and meaning have shifted radically over time, which was subject of a photographic project by Bedel. Using her photographic research as a starting point, writers from diverse disciplines were invited to contribute to the book, resulting in unexpected historical and critical perspectives on the relation between visual culture, leisure, and memory politics. The book is published by episode publishers in Rotterdam.

After a short introduction by Jelle Bouwhuis, curator of the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, British sociologist John Urry will give a lecture on the tourist gaze, a topic he researched for his book of the same name which was published in 1990 and republished in 2002. After that, Rachel Esner, one of the contributing authors of All that is solid melts into air will briefly introduce the publication, followed by a round table discussion with Urry, Bedel, Esner, Francesco Bernardelli and Marco Pasi.

Delphine Bedel is a visual artist and independent curator based in Amsterdam. She is guest lecturer at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and the Dutch Art Institute in Enschede. Her work has been shown internationally. Considering art a form of alternative knowledge, her process-oriented artistic practice and curatorial projects explore different formats and contexts. Recent projects include the exhibition Shared History/Decolonising the image. She is a founding member and curator of various project spaces, including Etablissement d?en Face in Brussels. Together with Ayako Yoshimura and Jelle Bouwhuis she is currently curating Beyond Paradise, an exhibition project at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam taking place this summer. (

John Urry is a British sociologist and Professor at Lancaster University. He is noted for his work in the fields of the sociology of tourism and mobility. Among his many publications are The Tourist Gaze (1990, 2002), Consuming Places (1995), Touring Cultures (1997), Tourism Mobilities (2004), and Performing Tourist Places (2004). Other fields of research include regionalism, economic and social change and complexity theory.


On behalf of episode publishers Shashin will take care of the sales of All that is solid? Shashin is an Amsterdam based bookstore for contemporary art, photography, design and fashion (

All that is solid melts into air ? Notes on Tourism

By: Delphine Bedel

With contributions by: Francesco Barnardelli, Rachel Esner, Bruno Latour, Marco Pasi,

Olivier Rolin and Thibaut de Ruyter

Design: Esther Krop

Language: English

Size: 24 x 17 cm, 64 pages, paperback

Price: ? 17.50

ISBN: 978-90-5973-072-4

Published by: episode publishers, Rotterdam 2008 (

This publication was made possible with the financial support of The Mondrian Foundation, Amsterdam; The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Amsterdam / Project Studio Berlin; Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Amsterdam.