"I guess the point of all this is that after a while something tells you, some voice speaks to you. And that's it; time to split. Go someplace else. People are gonna be basically the same, maybe use some different kind of refrigerator or toilet or something but this thing tells you… and you have to start to drift. You may not want to go. "
(Aloysius Parker in Permanent Vacation, Jim Jarmusch, 1980)
FotoFestival Naarden 2021 is a multimedia group exhibition with photography, installations and video art. With the theme, we are leaving the misfits and birds of paradise of Marvelous Misfits - the successful 2019 edition focusing on portraits. However, the new theme is not about stereotyping. The vacation in the title does not refer to the annual windlessness that provides physical relaxation and mental peace and cleansing. Instead of the state of calm that arises when the 'out of office'-reply is turned on, Permanent Vacation is an attitude to life and a strategy of independence.
The Dutch are "busy busy busy" until they feel they have earned a holiday. Spaniards or Italians can go home for a power nap halfway through their workday or to a bar for an espresso. This dolce far niente - and our corona-tilted worldview - shows that you don't have to (or can't) go on vacation to find satisfaction. Permanent Vacation is an investigation into various forms of distraction and well-being. Examples include the freedom of gypsies, myths and fairytales about laziness, snapshots of stoners, recreational math, three times around the world as a pop star or quarantined or imposed, and the subdued acoustics of life underwater. Permanent Vacation is life without any useful stimulus, such as a Dutch landscape in times of crisis. It is life that offers comfort, motivated by the need to feel free.
(Hedy van Erp, curator)