Volte-face: This photographer goes to tourist spots and points his camera the wrong way

Favouring 'the incidental over the monumental'

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The Independent Culture

For the longest time, I’ve found myself completely unmoved by landmarks. Maybe I’m just a philistine, or maybe my indifference is the result of too many screensavers, postcards, posters and jpegs.

Photographer Oliver Curtis taps into this disconnect with his series Volte-face (about turn), the result of a global trip that saw him visit the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty and the Colosseum and do a 180-degree turn.

The series “invites you to turn around and see a new aspect of the over-photographed sites of the world,” Curtis explains, “to send your gaze elsewhere and to favour the incidental over the monumental.”

By turning his back on the landmarks, the photographer instead got an arguably even more interesting view, one of modern tourism - spotting charming, quotidian moments and stark juxtapositions.

Facing away from the Pyramids of Giza, “in the mid-distance I saw a newly constructed golf course, its fairways an intense green,” he told Creative Boom. “I found this visual sandwich of contrasting color, texture and form intriguing.”

Volte-face is being exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 19 September until 14 October.

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