Louise Atkinson

Monuments and Landmarks 

Louise Atkinson is an artist-curator and is currently undertaking a Practice-based PhD in Fine Art at University of Leeds. The focus of her research is the relationship between art and ethnography, with a particular interest in tourist art and souvenirs. As part of her practice she has produced a collaborative postcard project called The Imaginary Museum, which references Andre Malraux’s work on images of artworks, and ideas by Walter Benjamin about the impact of photography on artworks.

The Monuments and Landmarks presentation will discuss the most recent iteration of The Imaginary Museum project, ‘Monuments and Landmarks’. This work relates to the nature of how such tourist sights are constructed and defined, as well as how these sights are disseminated beyond their localities through photography.

The presentation will consist of an exhibition of the postcards alongside a talk to contextualise the work within the fields of art, ethnography and tourism. By considering the postcard as art image and tourist object, this intervention considers how works of art (including souvenirs) can invoke, affect, and (re)produce social relations. This approach aims to consider the (postcard) artwork as part of a network of social, political, and economic dimensions.

The Monuments and Landmarks presentation will also aim to contextualise the research within art historical and anthropological discourse and will consider precedents of the relationship between art and tourism, ranging from the 19th century World Fairs, through to contemporary responses to the production of tourist art.