Paul Buchanan (1970, Glasgow, UK) together with Laura Pardo (1982, Bogota, CO) forms The Souvenir Collective. The collective via public interventions and virtual performance attempts to detour the traditional exchange mechanisms that exist between producer and consumer. They create Dutch souvenirs – such as paintings of windmills at Kinderdijk – which are sold to visitors of the touristic site and online. The life of these products however doesn’t stop here – the Souvenir Collective is also keeping track of the sold items and their emotional value. The photographs of tourist-customers, which they often receive in return, are being used to produce further commonplace touristic products – such as mugs and framed images. In their online shop anyone can purchase their “beautifully machine produced mugs”, “stunning replicas” and “rarely used washing up gloves”. Nevertheless far from being only a commercial maneuver, this project tries to discover different ways to connect and interact with people as the exchange process.
Can you succeed in mapping the value of experience? How far can you go in this investigation? Does the consumer really need these products, to materialize memories, or are we disregarding the value of memory? Does necessarily transaction and interaction exclude each other? – these are some of the questions which are being raised by them. The work of Paul and Laura references global commercialization, homogenization and standardization of production, while provokes and challenges the status quo of the artistic practice. Furthermore they are not only questioning the concept of ‘authenticity’, but also aim to raise a discussion in relation to alternative economies, sustainability and economic crisis.
The exhibition also included contributions by Artists Leonardo Vargas and Fariborz Farid. The show was accompanied by series of lectures, workshops and public events (held in English) at B32/F65 (Fransensingel 65, 6211AB Maastricht, Netherlands).
-Saturday 1st October: “Transformations, interactivity and Sustainability” by Vincent Roders and Rob Messen.
-Saturday 8th October: “Shopping” by Laura Pardo and Paul Buchanan
-Saturday 15th October: ''Interactive Art'' by Licia Calvi and Raymond Boland
Paul Buchanan and Laura Pardo at B32/F65 Maastricht
Paul Buchanan "Some Kind of Wonderful" 2011. Installation view
Laura Pardo ''Souvenir Bags" 2011
....The Souvenir Caravan..
Leonardo Vargas "Views of a Dutch Landscape" (Livestream) 2011. Contribution for ''And something Happened to me''
Workshop ''Tourism and user experience'' October 15. B32/F65