Designed for artist Lee Mingwei, "The Tourist", is the artist’s interactive project, installed at the Museum of Modern Art as part of the museum's project series curated by Roxana Marcoci during the fall of 2003.
As "The Tourist" in New York City, twenty different residents guide Lee Mingwei on individual tours across the five boroughs of the city during the course of the exhibition. Both the participants and the artist video record the experience. Meaningful objects or keepsakes are collected.
The formal design is a response to the nature of the museum's project room space. With a sloping floor and angled walls the repository for the objects has both an angled base and level "table" section in which simple wood boxes act as the containers for the objects. As objects are collected, boxes are inserted into the table. The table section is also oriented on axis with compass north as an orientation device- causing a shift against the center of the project room space.
Visitors to the installation look through the top of the table section, through glass into the object boxes. The objects may be personal gifts or simply mementos of the experience.
The videos and the objects accumulate as tours are taken and documentation collected.
The videos are projected as dual images from both the artist's and guide's perspective. Visitors are invited to sit on the sloping base of the central unit to view the videos.
Upon leaving the exhibition, visitors are left with an enhanced sense of the city around them through the personal interactions of two people and the individual points of view documented and celebrated in the installation.
The project installation was designed in close collaboration with Lee Mingwei and fabricator, Eric Sparks.