A Tour Guide for Rietveld
I didn’t just make a book: I made a travel guide. Which is quite a complicated kind of book. The travel guide, first of all, guides. But as much as it choreographs people around, as much as it is instructive, as much as it is a map, an inventory of things to do and see, filled with pictures, texts and itineraries, it turns out the travel guide is also a book that someone can simply ‘go’ through, with no other requirements at all. And especially the gap between what you see (read?) and what you get,; when the book and the place don’t correspond perfectly with each other, because the travel guide is outdated, or simply because it describes something that differs a lot from your own experience of it — yes, especially this gap, makes the travel guide particularly interesting. This year, a lot of tourists came to Amsterdam to celebrate a national holiday – Queensday. What they didn’t know, however, is that there is no queen any longer, and Kingsday — we have a king now — is on a totally different day. These tourists would show up on the streets wearing festive orange clothes, just a few days too late. The dates in their travel guides were outdated; these tourists appeared in the Dutch newspapers as ‘vergistoeristen’. And while they where probably quite dissappointed by their mistake, I became intrigued instead. Vergistoerist: What could be a proper English translation? A mistaken tourist? A stumbling tourist? A tourist on a detour? A detourist? Incidents of mistaken tourism of this scale are rare, but there are also more subtle ones. These mistakes rather become interventions, shifts, that make us experience our daily life in a different way. I’m looking for maps that confuse rather than clarify; pictures that don’t look anymore like the places they where taken, dates that don’t make sense anymore, names that have changed.