Film program 'Beyond Paradise'

SMBA and Maison Descartes

Curated by Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura

The film program BEYOND PARADISE presents a selection of documentary, short films and videos addressing various perspectives on tourism in diverse geographical and political contexts. In the framework of the exhibition Beyond Paradise at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, to be seen until Sunday 7 September.


Location: Maison Descartes, Vijzelgracht 2A, Amsterdam

Entrance free

19.00: Doors open

19.30: Introduction by the curators

20.00: ECONOMY OF SIGNS (Living in a Theme Park)


The film shows six couples in search of utopia. They are the residents of Celebration; the latest version of the American Dream, built in Florida by Walt Disney. Walt Disney always said that dreams can come true. Is Celebration a dream come true in a world gone wrong? (2005, 55', DV). The filmmakers will be present.

KWANG-JU SON (KR), Amusement Epitome

A weekday afternoon on the Everland, one of the largest amusement parks in South Korea. Its annual EuroFestival is the controversial epitome of clichés of Western and non-Western representations, and many Koreans absorb them as a taken-for-granted visual experience. (2006, 03', DV)

OLIVO BARBIERI (IT), site specific_LAS VEGAS 05

An aerial study of Las Vegas and the surrounding desert landscape, where the artist abstains from tourist clichés by accompanying the images with muffled sounds of explosions, and thus underscores the paradox of this entertainment capital, imperturbable in the face of the energy crisis and terrorist attacks. (2005, 13', 35mm on DVD).

21.20: INVISIBLE TOURISM (Invisible war)

KAMAL ALJAFARI (Palestine/FR), Visit Iraq

A poetic document exposing the stereotypical thinking that underlies many social and political level of one’s mind. Aljafari exploits the stories and rumours by residents around the recently abandoned Iraqi Airways office in a Genovese neighborhood. (2003, 26', 35mm on DVD)

BIK VAN DER POL (NL), Trinity (April 2, 2005)

Trinity in New Mexico, where the first atomic explosion took place in July 1945, is transformed from secret nuclear test site to a tourist attraction. Twice a year, this silent area is open to the public, and becomes an event. There is nothing to see, apart from the totally normal activities of these special visitors, forming a contrast to the experience of the immense emptiness of the landscape.

(2005, 34', DV)

22.30: THE END OF TOURISM (Local/Global: Changing Perspectives)

MOUNIR FATMI (MA/FR), La Terre Moins Chère

The fuzzy image, shot from far away, showing bored tourists in a large swimming pool of a hotel located in an Arab country. On the windowpanes of a travel agency in Paris Fatmi found this sentence written in large letters “La terre moins chère “ ("A less expensive earth"). His film addresses the social and economic borders of the contemporary tourism. (2004, 10', DV)


'How much do you need to pay to experience this beautiful landscape printed on the bank note?' Visiting the Li River in China, Lin confronts her own experience with a collection of Youtube tourist videos. The endless consumption of this landscape unfolds the social impact of tourism in the region. (2007, 05', DVD). The artist will be present.

23.00 Closing of the event.

Maison Descartes, Institut Français des Pays-Bas, Amsterdam

Entrance free.

Vijzelgracht 2A, 1017 HR Amsterdam

Reservation recommended:

tel. 020 531 95 48

With the support of Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst.

Thanks to 66 East, Centre for Urban Culture, Modular Unit, Heure Exquise!, galerie Brancolini Grimaldi.

Saturday 6 September

11-17.00 Maison Descartes 'Open Day': Presentation of the video installation 'Safety Hour' (2004) by Sascha Pohle (D/NL)

15.00 SMBA: Exhibition Walk-Through with the curators Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura