EXHIBITION ROOM TEXT: TOUR, VOLCANOES AND LENTILS by RUBÉN ACOSTA
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There is nothing more universal than localisms. In every corner of the planet, human beings have managed to practice a sort of chauvinism that gives more allegorical power to those who reside in that territory.
The other side of this coin is the fanatical repulsion against everything understood as autochthonous. It may be that we islanders live even more intensely that absurd but recurrent dialectic between the extremes
of “we are the best” and “we are the worst”.
However, we cannot forget that every symbolic construction has hidden traps. If living surrounded by the sea makes you feel “marooned on an island”, it is no less true that the ocean exposes you more to the arrival of outsiders. The history of any island, in the Atlantic or the Pacific, is
marked by those who arrived on its shores. The contradictions of the insular fact are multiplied if, on top of that, your island is a destination for international mass tourism. The tourist likes to feel like a native, to
experience what a resident thinks, so identity is part of the package that the 21st century travel industry sells to foreigners and locals alike.
“We believe we have a heritage that we show to tourism but, in fact, it is tourism that pushes us to build heritage,” as Fernando Estévez –
Centros de Arte, Cultura y Turismo. Cabildo de Lanzarote
C/ Triana, nº 38 . Arrecife de Lanzarote. 35500
Teléfono: +34 928 80 15 00
www.centrosturisticos.com | www.cactlanzarote.com
University professor and coordinator of the Museum of History and
Anthropology of Tenerife- would say.
So that these debates on increasingly globalized identities do not become too gaseous, it is advisable to look for antidotes of relativity, spaces for a more balanced vision, moments for neutral reflection. Few
languages allow for that equanimous distance more than the universal language of photography.
Rubén Acosta -visual artist and national photographer- wanders between the glamour of the stage and the sacrifices of the dressing room, between fiction and hyperrealism because they are still the two
complementary profiles of today’s Lanzarote. As that old master Charles Chaplin said: “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot”.