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2009 I VENICE BIENNALE PROPOSAL I “Relax in Cyprus ”

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  • 2009 I "RELAX IN CYPRUS"
    Proposal for the Venice Biennale.
  • Concours réalisé avec Arnaud Backer
  • Patrimony popularization for clean landscapes. 
    The initial important aspect was to define the ambiguity surrounding the term ''relax", especially within the theme we decided to develop: ''mass tourism''. The European conception of tourism is particularly passive; the word ''relaxation'' would hence see its sense in activities that could be done anywhere, anytime, in any country. Stay lazy on the beach, tan, sexual tourism for example...  However Cyprus happens to be the destination of a brand new European tourism sensitive to the country's price, to its barely built landscapes and to its skyrocketing tourism economy. The fear comes from the possibility that this development could occur too fast which would disfigure both the landscape and the patrimony. A form of tourism that would be too ''relax'' and not clever enough would also spoil a country that faces many problems nowadays such as the boundary splitting the country, the political tensions, the desired reunification as well as the difficulties due to the county's insular character. We share the opinion that tourism -and the architecture around it- spoils both landscapes and patrimony regardless of its necessity to Cyprus' economy. We would
    like to create a new exodus based on a tacky architecture which can be disfigured -just the way Cyprus' landscape can be disfigured sometimes- but which the tourists will find pleasant and attractive. This new exodus would be extremely limited as for its implantation in order to reveal clean landscapes!
  • ©Arnaud Backer & Romain De Santis