The visual artist and cultural manager Marina Planas (Palma, 1983), heir and custodian of the Planas Archive, was a few days ago one of the protagonists in Berlin of Live For The Arts, a cycle promoted by the Magaluf Expanded Literature Festival (FLEM) and Innside by Meliá to project the culture of the Island in different cities around the world. And he did it with a performance that revolves around abuse of territories that become tourist destinations based on snapshots of his grandfather, Josep Planas, accompanied by the sound setting of DJ Marlon Rudolph. At the same time, Planas is immersed in another project, Warlike approaches to tourism. All inclusivewhich revolves around the same theme and has already been seen at Es Baluard Museu de Palma.
Highway to the south was his proposal for the event Live For The Arts In Berlin. How is it articulated?
—The title refers to a story by Cortázar, I propose the relationship between the body and the archive, it is one of the practices that I have been carrying out for years. I always work with the Casa Planas archive from the pure image, photography, video, text, body and interrelation with others. I always conceive the archive as a performative space and I activate it from the body and the dramaturgy, the relationship of the body with the space.
We are talking about mass tourism and Germans are the majority visitor to the Island. It is paradoxical to bring this proposal to Berlin.
—Yes it is, much of my work points out the paradoxes of tourism, it is one of my projects. I always quote Bauman, who talks about this paradox in which we often dedicate ourselves to criticizing the very thing that we practice, such as tourism while we are also tourists. It’s paradoxical but at the same time it makes a lot of sense. Germany is one of the big tourism markets we have in Mallorca and doing these exchanges with Mallorcan and German artists makes a lot of sense.
On the other hand, your project Warlike approaches to tourism. All inclusive It’s giving a lot of talk. What are you looking to convey?
—The evolution of the photographic medium has always gone hand in hand with weapons and war research, financed for this purpose to monitor the enemy. On the other hand, in Mallorca this evolution came hand in hand with tourism, and at that point I created a simile between tourism and war. From there I began to investigate all those points of friction as a reflection or questioning of all the tensions that the tourism industry causes with Mallorca as a territory, from which I come, but focusing on it in a local way. Talk about the tourism industry in general. On a formal level, I decided to fill all the walls so that there was no free space and it is a metaphor that there is no room for anything else. The images speak of this massification from the massification of the photos themselves.
This year, the Government and Casa Planas signed a protocol to preserve your grandfather’s archive, the Arxiu Planas. What point are you at?
—The truth is that it was a shame that a protocol was only reached after eight years of progressive government, it shows little interest. Theirs would have been to reach an agreement, a document with more face and eyes, in any case a protocol was reached, something is something. We were also given a direct subsidy and that is appreciated, due to the uniqueness and urgency of the project, it is material that must be conserved because it is losing quality. It was destined to disappear so there was an urgency. We have a project with the best in Spain, those from the Girona Archive, with a budget of two million euros. It is expensive, but very specific technical professionals are required in archival, conservation and classification issues.
At one point there was the possibility of taking out the Arxiu Planas de Mallorca. Is it a discarded idea?
—No, that is never ruled out if there is an interest in buying it, due to the interest of an individual or an institution, and neither is the project of keeping it underground in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where the conditions are good and there is no crazy, Bill Gates’ file is underground. He could also end up in Emaya, part of my family wants to get rid of him, that possibility is also there.
In a recent interview he lamented that “all the iconography made to attract tourists to Mallorca is made by my family; “It’s not something to be proud of.” How do you deal with a family inheritance of this magnitude?
—Having studied images, audiovisuals, with a master’s degree in art, photography and archives, I approach it in a way that I cannot abandon due to my professional dedication. This archive captivates me, I suffer from ‘archive disease’, I cannot get rid of this project, it is linked to my profession, to my passion, so the way to approach it is in a critical way with the information. In the end it is reusing it to try to make a more contemporary reading.