Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
'Cultivated Blindness'
renderings of inward-looking travellers and sad
hotels, which divert their gaze as if the presence
of other people alone could mar the travel expe-
rience. Hopper's hotel guests are antipathetic to
the idea of fi nding other tourists, so introspec-
tive they look and it therefore seems as if Hop-
per is warning us that travelling is not always the
enjoyable experience advertised by operators,
travel agents and local tourism boards. Thus far,
Hopper's work features a visual narrative that
apparently heralds attractive landscapes while
at the same time denouncing the less enjoyable
aspects of travel, exposing the 'cultivated blind-
ness' inherent to tourists.
Besides forming a core narrative of travel,
Hopper's paintings have, to a certain extent,
become a measure for reality. When visiting
online information linked to places like Cape
Cod, Gloucester and Truro the modern traveller
will fi nd mention to Hopper's connection to
those sites. Hence, you may confi rm that picto-
rial representation through art seems to enhance
the interest of the destination while, of course,
Hopper's popularity is exploited to expand the
market potential.
Hopper was a traveller and painted as a travel-
ler and, thus, incorporated his tourist experi-
ences into his art. The narrative organized here
around his paintings, in non-chronological
order, is only possible because of an on-going
inter-pictorial dialogue that multiplies common-
place perceptions and behaviours associated
to tourism. As in the case of his Impressionist
forerunners, Hopper's paintings assimilated a
travel-related narrative and contribute to the
fi eld of tourism through place and moment
depiction, as do photographs and promotional
images. Moreover, they highlight how far the
travel theme grew important over the last cen-
tury to attract repeated attention by a major art-
ist. Hopper's travel narrative becomes ever
clearer if considered against the backdrop of the
world of work he portrayed through his paint-
ings of offi ces.
Hopper seems to have willingly played the
role of tourist: his unspoilt land and seascapes
fi t the tale of happy holiday to perfection.
However, they contrast with the less cheerful
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