Back to the Front: Tourisms of War
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of D-Day, "Back to the Front" is designed by the collaborative team Diller + Scofidio (see also Flesh ... Show synopsis Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of D-Day, "Back to the Front" is designed by the collaborative team Diller + Scofidio (see also Flesh) and includes their newest project, sited on the tour route of the five D-Day beaches. Seductive in its design and production, "Back to the Front" provides critical analyses of the complex relationship between tourism and war as related forms of conquest. "Back to the Front" is comprised of three sections. The first presents suitCase Studies: the Production of a National Past, an installation by Diller + Scofidio exhibited in the U.S. and France. The second portion consists of original texts on the theme of war and tourism by five contemporary authors, whose fields range from hilosophy to cultural theory to fiction: George Van den Abbeele envisages "Militarism and Tourism as transcultural forms of invasion in competition with each other"; Jean-Louis Dotte shows that "tourism no longer feeds solely on the wartime event . . . it is no longer soft, contemporary form of conquest . . . Tourism, rather, becomes an essential military objective"; Thomas Keenan interrogates the hyper-mediatization of these same wars "as proof of the birth of new strategic requirements, cultural and media-oriented alike, for military strategies"; Frederick Migayrou inquires into "a territorial application, the landings and mechanics behind them, so as to enhance, in negative relief, an impossible psychology of combat, one that arises from a procedural complexity leading the body to . . . its total destruction"; and Lynne Tillman offers the novella "Lust for Loss." The final section of the book is Diller + Scofidio's project: in full color, these five fold-out documents (one for each beach), deploy hybridphoto-drawings and text-weaves to probe the relationship between these confrontations.