Nicolas Bourriaud on ‘Travel’



Travel As global travel has become more attainable, the act of travelling has become a medium in itself. Artists explore geographies, searching for the unseen or the unknown among both their own known environments and the most hostile or remote lands on the globe, documenting their personal journeys and discoveries. They create forms based on their experiences of travel – using patterns of travel; translation, displacements, diaries and the exoticisation of familiar events. ‘Thus the exhibition brings together three sorts of nomadism: in space, in time and among the “signs”. Of course, these notions are not mutually exclusive, and the same artist can simultaneously explore geographical, historical and socio-cultural realities. We need to be clear that nomadism, as a way of learning about the world, here amounts to much more than a simplistic generalisation: the term enshrines specific forms, processes of visualisation peculiar to our own epoch. In a word, trajectories have become forms: contemporary art gives the impression of being uplifted by an immense wave of displacements, voyages, translations, migrations of objects and beings, to the point that we could state that the works presented in Altermodern unravel themselves along receding lines of perspective, the course they follow eclipsing the static forms through which they initially manifest themselves.’ Nicolas Bourriaud, Altermodern: Tate Triennial, Tate Publishing, 2009 (p13).