The Perfect Tourist
With his art installation The Perfect Tourist, Hubertus von Hohenlohe invites both Viennese citizens and
tourists to capture the magic of Belvedere Palace in a perfect photograph. Frequently tourists concentrate on collecting photographs
or on handling digital devices, while reality moves out of focus. However, those unaware of their surroundings will not be
capable of reproducing the spirit of a particular place in a photograph. This is why the one-year project The Perfect Tourist,
starting on 15 June 2014, offers visitors to the Belvedere Gardens an opportunity to immortalise themselves in the Baroque
ambience of the Lower and the Upper Belvedere with the aid of a specially designed mirror. Once the perfect picture has been
taken, the perfect tourist can put the camera away and enjoy the beauty and power of the moment.
“This installation must be understood as creative linkage that contributes to freezing memories. It enables people to take pictures of themselves against the backdrop of this wonderful ensemble, which is unique in terms of both architecture and culture. In other words, it helps tourists from around the globe to shoot the perfect photograph”, Hubertus von Hohenlohe explains his concept.
A mirror measuring approximately 2 by 2.5 metres is positioned in the Belvedere Gardens halfway between the Upper and the Lower Belvedere in such a way that from a given mark and thanks to the principle of reflection both the Upper and the Lower Belvedere plus the spectator can be captured in a photograph. The installation thus meets the desire of tourists for a perfect photographic documentation of their journey, which is at the same time ironised through the view’s exaggerated standardisation. Moreover, the installation also addresses such notions as reflection and self-reflection and representation and self-representation – century-old fundamental points of reference of artistic ambition. “With The Perfect Tourist, Hubertus von Hohenlohe demonstrates how tourism and central themes of art coincide and how the one is reflected in the other”, Agnes Husslein-Arco, Director of the Belvedere, points out.
The photographer, musician, ski racer, and host of the TV show “Hubertusjagd” kicks off his project, by which he intends to help people take the perfect photograph at impressive places around the globe year after year, at the Belvedere Gardens. The next stops will be Sydney (Sydney Opera House) and Berlin (Brandenburg Gate).