Lippard’s On the Beaten Track inherited one theme from MacCannell’s The Tourist – the escape. For MacCannell, the tourists are escaping from their work. But still, they are unable to restrain their curiosity from seeing how other people work wherever they go; and thus the factory and some other workplaces became tourist attractions.
For Lippard, more than work, the tourist is running away from the “place,” or from the living situation as a whole. What’s interesting and true is that “They are too poor. They are too poor to go anywhere. They are too poor to escape the reality of their lives; and they are too poor to live properly in the place where they live, which is the very place you, the tourist, want to go.” (Lippard 1999:22) In this way, at least two sub-classes under the category of bourgeoisie are generated from tourism – those who can afford international tourism, and those who can only travel within the nation, the domestic tourist.
How can the domestic tourism benefit or heal the tourist who has a painful desire to escape? How can tourism generated from the desire of escape be progressive? Maybe the tourists have to find out the very reason for their own running away, but not just desperately escape. The reason and its artistic expression or representation may be progressive – just as Lone Twin did in their Nine Years, providing their own sincere understanding of the reified world.
For my final paper, I hope to find out the meaning of the Matsu pilgrimage in nowadays Taiwan, since “The historical roles of pilgrimage and curiosity have been filled (though hardly fulfilled) by tourism and museums.” (Lippard 1999:9) The folklore of the sea goddess Matsu and the Taiwanese national myth/identity would be one line, and the bodily experiences of walking, such as pain, exhaustion, transformation, another line. Bruner’s analysis model of “pre-tour, on-tour, post-tour, would be very helpful to my topic, so does Lippard’s focus on the domestic tourism.