/19 Australia

Kristian Haggblom

Viewing Platforms

Viewing Platforms explores the relationships that are played out in remote Australian touristscapes between temporary visitors and desired “natural” locations. Primarily a photographic project it also includes a semi-fictive literary voice and is presented as a photobook and as gallery-based installations that include text and collected/found objects. The work is made both from a distance with a large-format camera and from within the performance of tourism with a more compact medium-format device. Photographs are produced at particular landscape sites incorporating the uniquely Australian long distances entailed in “journeying” to these locations that are considered part of the tourist experience. Within these spaces of transience and awe the tourist infrastructure that is physically imposed over particular landscapes (signs, guard railings, platforms, etc) enact the space as a “stage” for not only visitors, but also guides, other tourist industry workers and local inhabitants. The photographs are made from within the mechanisms of tourism at powerful and mythological landscapes and are captured from within the “performance” of tourism. Viewing Platforms extends from my recently completed PhD project and deliberately meshes choreography with fictional and factual outcomes to create a journey narrative that is simultaneously questioning, entertaining and critical of the contemporary tourist experience in “outback” Australia.