Now until the 21st of May 2023, the tourism exhibition “LET’S DO IT ALL!” takes place in the Stadtgalerie Kiel, located on Andreas-Gayk-Straße. The exhibition features an array of pieces which present a view on tourism and travel by twelve different artists from across the globe.

“LET’S DO IT ALL!” reflects on the impact tourism has on the economy, environment and everyday life and provides a complex view of the experience of tourism. The exhibition features an array of pieces by different artists from across the globe. Through the use of sculpture, photography, collage and film-making- “LET’S DO IT ALL!” combines all of our senses in an immersive experience.

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (2021) by Frederik Foert. (Photo: Clara Della Chiesa)

Before entering the gallery, our eyes are drawn to a giant, heart-shaped emoji by the artist Aram Bartholl. It was unsurprising that many passers-by stopped to pose for photos. Bartholl’s “Triangle-of-Sadness” (2023) heart-shaped emoji, stands as a critique of the hold social-media has over us all.

Upon arrival, two large, inflatable, Chinese guardian lions welcome you. These lions are said to have protective powers and are usually found at the front of imperial palaces, temples and homes. The scale and size of the lions and how they are squashed into the museum space is ironically similar to how we try to squash a full agenda of tourist attractions or must visits into our holiday trips.

On entering the exhibition, your senses are assailed by the noise of popping kernels and the smell of buttery popcorn. While there are other exhibits before this popcorn piece, your senses will have you rushing over to find Michael Sailstorfer’s piece “1:43- 47, Nordhorn.

“1:43- 47, Nordhorn” by Michael Sailstorfer. (Photo: Clara Della Chiesa)

The piece is rather confusing with my first thought being; ‘Oh my god, I want to eat it’. My second thought was ‘What has this got to do with tourism?’ My third, ‘what a waste of popcorn!’

The machine is said to represent “the inherent dynamics and overriding basic conditions of tourism: gain of distance and leisure…. consumption, wear and production- as much and as long as it takes” according to Sönke Kniphals, text curator at the Stadtgalerie Kiel.

The bright, red vividness of the popcorn machine, which evokes pleasant memories is in direct contrast with the exhibition piece on the opposite wall. There, a motor clatters on a drive shaft, bombarding all our senses as its black tire rubs abrasively off the white wall. It looks as if eventually the tire will eat into the wall over the three month course of the exhibition, which will be viewed by more and more tourists. This is ironic, as the wheel eats away at the wall, unlike the uneaten pile of popcorn, which represents the endless supply and demand chains of the tourist industry.

Video piece “The Perfect Beach” by Aram Bartholl. (Photo: Clara Della Chiesa)

The Video “The Perfect Beach” by German, artist Aram Bartholl, for the 2018 Thailand Biennale reflects an interesting aspect of tourism. The exhibit was recorded on Phra-Nang Beach, which is known by tourists for its white sand and blue water. However, Bartholl cleverly uses a photoshopped image from the internet of Phra-Nang Beach to contrast with how it actually appears.

“This results in a simultaneity of different pictorial levels that now visibly collide in one place and yet are inextricably interwoven in tourist practice” – Sönke Kniphals, text curator at the Stadtgalerie Kiel.

The holiday snapshot of a beach displayed on a beach makes us question the reality of the lives and places that are posted on social media. The exhibition has certainly made me question my habits and behaviour as a tourist.

The artworks mentioned above are just a snippet of what is available to see at the “LET’S DO IT ALL!” exhibition, with works also featured by Alice Creischer, Fantastic Little Splash, Sophie Gogl, Barbara Hammer, Miriam Jonas, Ralf Meyer, Philp Scheffner, Constantin Schröder and Aleen Solari.

Exhibition Opening Hours: Tue, Wed + Fri : 10:00-17:00 Thurs: 10:00-19:00 Sat + Sun: 11:00-17:00

For more information please see the homepage of Stadtgalerie Kiel.