Souvenir encourages the viewers to dwell in the moment; the here, the now, in Amsterdam. Erik Kessels explored and visualized the meaning of a souvenir. We buy souvenirs in the hope that they will bring us back to a special time and place.
Souvenir’ raises a couple of questions. Why do people actually buy miscellaneous articles as souvenirs? Have they discovered what makes the place they are visiting authentic? Do they look through the lens of a camera instead of stopping and considering what they are looking at? Is collecting souvenirs more meaningful than the visit itself? Are memories not souvenirs in themselves?
The installation consists of a small mobile museum with objects that remind us of the ten World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam canals being one of them. The objects have been designed by students of various design faculties and offer a fresh alternative to the traditional and often cheaply produced rubbish that we have come to know as souvenirs.