The duo whittled down their selection from the several thousand images that now make up their “SIGHTSEERS” series with the help of curator Arielle de Saint Phalle. And while the deep-seated but ever-changing tradition of aspirational documentation of the self often plays out in private spaces (bathrooms, a la Kim Kardashian, or beach blankets and beds, a la
James Franco), tourist sites provided the perfect public platform for Gori and Kelly to capture a wide range of selfie-documentation. “At these sites, it’s a feeding frenzy,” Gori explains. “Everyone has their cameras or phones out, interacting with what’s behind them in such different ways.”
Unsurprisingly, selfies and selfie-sticks—funny, albeit genuine, trademarks of our time—pop up across the show. In one image, a teenage couple crowds into the frame of their iPhone. He’s wearing a bulky backpack, she’s donning a Minnie Mouse tee-shirt. Mexico’s Teotihuacan ruins sit behind them, but it’s questionable how much of the landscape actually made its way into the shot. In another, a stud of a man stands tall, arms extended and double-fisting his phone, at L.A.’s Griffith Observatory. Gori and Kelly catch him, smiling wide and wearing big sunglasses, with the Hollywood Sign behind him, as he snaps a selfie.
Other images capture more storied tourist traditions—the act of asking someone else, whether a stranger or a friend, to take your photo. In one shot, a son, whose shirt matches a nearby water taxi stand, snaps his smiling, sun hat-decked mother against a bustling and forever-picturesque Venetian canal. Another image shows a portly man in a fanny pack posing on top of Jeanne-Claude and Christo’s Floating Piers, the hit art installation of this past summer, for a camera-bag decorated woman.