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17 postcards

Me and the Tourist


Diversity This project arose out of the Breitner Academy’s annual Theme Week, in which full-time students from all years participate. This year the theme was ‘diversity’, a key component of policy at Breitner Academy and throughout the Amsterdam University of the Arts. There’s a clear connection between this diversity agenda and the Breitner Academy’s central didactic concept of authentic art education, which fosters diversity in a relevant, relatable and challenging learning environment. In addition to this role in the educational process, authenticity has a moral dimension at the academy, where qualities such as value-based orientation, motivations and empathy have important parts to play.

‘Once you’ve put all the stories together, if you see someone walking around town wearing a woolly hat with “Amsterdam” on it, you become aware that there’s a whole backstory.’ ‘The fact that tourists come from all over the world means that as a group they’re really interesting and enriching on a cultural level.’

Me and the Tourist

Jan Hoek


Me and the Tourist


Me and the Tourist

Jan Hoek

This booklet is the outcome of a collaboration between the 130 students at the Breitner Academy– Amsterdam University of the Arts and the renowned Amsterdam artist, photographer and writer Jan Hoek. A large proportion of his work concerns itself with ‘the other’, in the broadest sense of that term. From December 2017, Jan Hoek was the Breitner Academy’s guest Artist in Residence for a project titled Me and the Tourist, which formed part of the academy’s theme week and centred on diversity.

Jan Hoek (b. 1984) is an artist and writer. He has photographed amateur models, mentally ill homeless people in Africa, a girl with no arms or legs, a heroin addict dreaming of becoming a model, and people he found through advertisements on the Internet. None of his shoots ever turn out the way he anticipates; model and photographer always have different expectations.

The Me and the Tourist project saw Breitner Academy students join Jan Hoek in an examination of preconceptions about tourists, seeking out ways of reversing, distorting, confirming or deepening understanding of these stereotypes. Their assignment was to portray tourists in new ways – using photography, drawing or performance – and give them back their unique, human face.

An Artist in Residence inspires students and teachers at the Amsterdam University of the Arts by confronting them with topical developments and issues from the arts practice. Innovation and connection are the main focus of these tailor-made AIR programmes, as well as the international and multidisciplinary context.

Me and the Tourist

AIR


Me and the Tourist

Female Alone Janne Igbuwe


Tourists Eating ‘Drop’ Wies Brand, Cathelijne Debets, Melvin van Huet Lindeman, Mariska van Hall

Me and the Tourist

Tourists in Amsterdam were photographed trying drop, a popular liquorice candy treat in the Netherlands.


Me, Living from Tourists Luka Viool, Maria Watjer

Me and the Tourist

The bright white LED light attracts the wandering tourists. All day long the shopworkers are surrounded by hats printed with weed-leaf motifs and glasses shaped like sexy female figures. Nobody spends more time with tourists or knows more about them. ‘We deal with them’ they say. Viool and Watjer portrayed these experts-byexperience as they went about their daily lives, working in the many shops that would not exist were it not for the tourists that fill the streets of Amsterdam.


Me, the Tourist Tibor van den Brink, Miranda Kruijer, Joachim Rubinstein

Me and the Tourist

In a city where the public debate about tourism is dominated by stereotypes and prejudices, we offer our lovely visitors a chance to redeem themselves. We gave tourists access to a very special Instagram account, where they collect their stories, visions and personalities, and show the world who they really are.


Figments Anita Ebrahimi

Me and the Tourist

The photo series ‘Figments’ is the product of Anita Ebrahimi’s associative imagination. After several hours observing the behaviour of tourists in Amsterdam, stories and associations emerged about them and the industry that revolves around them. She combined photographs taken in Amsterdam with material from other contexts to create her contemporary interpretation of the collage.


The Tattourist Iris Smit, Veerle Baardse

Me and the Tourist

Iris Smit and Veerle Baardse investigated the reasons that tourists choose to get tattooed in Amsterdam. In the course of their research they came across surprising facts and funny stories. For example, the most popular tattoos among tourists in Amsterdam are the so-called ‘Dutch souvenir tattoos’; the most common motifs are the three crosses [from the city’s coat of arms], the tulip and the bicycle. The actual reason tourists get inked in Amsterdam remains a mystery.


Once I was Looking at Van Gogh Lieke Zeeman, Suzanne Eelman, Dominique van de Pol

Me and the Tourist

The Dutch policy of tolerating drug use appears to be an important reason for tourists choosing to visit Amsterdam. Tourist guides suggest smoking weed before entering the Van Gogh Museum. These different versions of Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers visualize the effects of drugs while viewing the famous painting. The images are based on descriptions and stories from tourists who used weed, ecstasy and psychedelics.


City Nomad Lili Liane van Doorninck

Me and the Tourist

I went looking for the tourist in Amsterdam who never left; the traveller who ran aground and stayed; the traveller who became an Amsterdammer. I found Nabil.


Lion the Monk Floortje Lambeek, Moon Smit

Me and the Tourist

Many of the tourists visiting Amsterdam blend in with those of us who live here, but one particular man stood out from the crowd. His name is Lion, and his story is really wonderful. He is a Christian monk from an island in Greece, where he has his own church. Large numbers of Dutch tourists visit his church, and some of them became his friends. They invited him to come to the Netherlands; so Lion became a tourist because of tourism.


It’s all a Matter of Perspective Amber Witte, Milou de Laat

Me and the Tourist

They come in large groups or in couples, bearing suitcases or backpacks. In the city they form clusters that you do your best to avoid. But Milou and Amber wanted to find the natural habitat of the tourist, to view them in another light: in the places they go to for the perfect picture; on their way to the perfect place for the prettiest view. Tourists are forever on their way somewhere, but what if you take away their purpose? All they are left with is a big empty space. They end up as groups of people without context. They become people without a destination. In the end it’s all a matter of perspective.


Me and the Tourist

Have a Nice Trip Eva Klein, Linde Ruigrok van der Werven


Mad Mass Jula Gerssen, Kawita Kumar, Coco Bink

Me and the Tourist

The photo series Mad Mass presents the concept of mass consumption of typical Dutch delicacies and products in relation to mass tourism in Amsterdam. The goal is to emphasize tourists’ expenses when they visit Amsterdam and how they impact on the central image of Dutch culture. Cheese, waffles and tulips are the stereotypical characteristics that give shape to today’s Dutch society in Amsterdam. The more tourists, the greater the reinforcement of stereotypes. It’s a real mad mass.


The Law of Attraction Mara Nadort, Lotte Prak

Me and the Tourist

Mara Nadort and Lotte Prak were on Amsterdam’s Museumplein [Museum Square] when they met Phill, an American guy with Vietnamese roots. This tough and unusual tourist with purple hair was their muse for three days – they went cycling in the city and joined him for the rest of his stay. It turned out that Phill (a.k.a. The Nail Polisher) had a history as a drug dealer and had been arrested. Being arrested opened his mind: he decided to enjoy life, travel a lot and ‘Phill’ really good.


72 Shoes: These Shoes are Made for Visiting Amsterdam Aura-Lie van Baren

Me and the Tourist

It’s not your eyes that are the mirror of your soul, it’s your shoes. Shoes say a lot about your personality. These 72 pairs of shoes were being worn by tourists walking around in Amsterdam. The selection of colours was inspired by the Rainbow Peace flag, reflecting Amsterdam’s free and tolerant attitude.


The Ultimate Tourist Portrait Thaiz Torres Roure, Ilse Kok

Me and the Tourist

Ilse Kok and Thaiz Torres Roure have always been interested in the person behind the image of the tourist. Amsterdammers have been getting annoyed with all the tourists blocking their way with their luggage and consuming copious quantities of weed. But we believe that behind such images there are real people – mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters – all with their own, personal stories. By getting to know these individuals and photographing only a small detail of their faces, we capture their humanity.


Roller-Case Track Linsey Knibbeler, Angel Lohr

Me and the Tourist

Thursday 1 February 2018: the roller-case police take action on Damrak. Tourists with roller cases seem to be a particular cause of irritation among the citizens of Amsterdam. The roller-case police decided to make a roller-case track so that the roller-case tourists could walk along their own lane of pavement – alongside the bicycle path, road and tram track – without disturbing other pedestrians. Roller-case tourists who used the track correctly were awarded a license giving them permission to walk freely on the streets of Amsterdam.


Woolgathering Demi van der Horst, Leon Kemp

Me and the Tourist

Daydreaming tourists can be found everywhere in Amsterdam. Woolgathering is a project which shows their dreams by placing them into famous movieposters. This gives the spectator the opportunity to identify with the tourist.


Credits Artistic director Jan Hoek Teachers Roderick Laperdrix, Anne de Jongh, Karen Oude Alink and Melvin Crone Coordinators Eleonora van Vloten, Artist in Residence programme Anna ten Bruggencate, coordinator and editor Graphic design Meeusontwerpt Publisher ON AIR Artist in Residence programme Amsterdam University of the Arts T +31 (0)20-5277707 E air@ahk.nl www.air.ahk.nl Š 2018 ISBN 978-90-71681-42-4 Amsterdam University of the Arts All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express permission of the copyright holder.


Me and the Tourist An Artist in Residence project by Jan Hoek and students of the Breitner Academy There are so many tourists in Amsterdam nowadays, that many permanent residents of the city have come to see them as an anonymous plague. Perhaps they have forgotten that each tourist is a unique individual with personal reasons for visiting Amsterdam. Living as he does on the city’s busy Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, tourism was driving Jan Hoek mad too: ‘It was like an invasion of tourist zombies, circling my home all day long with their roller cases.’

‘We think of it as an invasion of interchangeable people, but that’s the craziest thing of all, because these tourists bring along so many stories and we’re not even willing to think about them. All we see is that roller case.’ Jan Hoek got the Breitner Academy students to go into central Amsterdam to study the relationship between tourists and locals, and to capture that relationship in photographs, videos, words and performances. Throughout, students worked from the perspective of their personal relationship with tourists and the richness they bring to the city.

Profile for Breitner Academie

Me and the tourist  

An Artist in Residence project by Jan Hoek and students of the Breitner Academy.

Me and the tourist  

An Artist in Residence project by Jan Hoek and students of the Breitner Academy.

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