THE INCOMPLETE GRAND TOUR
From the early 18th century onward, the youthful upper class would carry an educational trip across continental Europe as a rite of passage. It was called The Grand Tour, and its purpose was to expose the traveler to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the sediments of Western civilization.
During the course of the journey, in the absence of proper and efficient ways of recording the places visited, the traveler became a collector. The objects they brought back to their homes as mementos were in opposition to the places and ideals which they marbled during their trip. Their keepsakes were new and whole creations and therefore reminders of their own world, trinkets which were only shrouded in an antique disguise.
The Grand Tourists were feverishly attracted to the merciless passing of time. The prestige of the old cities, the vulnerability of ruins, and the incomplete theatrics of antique sculpture were valued as esoteric and associative reminders of their own worth. So much was their reverence that they carried great efforts to include all of these in the portraits they commission during their stay.
The following collection of constructs re-purposes the tropes associated with Grand Tour mementos (a classical statue, an idyllic landscape painting or a plaster cameo) and distorts their narrative to reveal and amplify the traces of the incomplete within them.
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