Be My Guest.
Photographs by Sascha Reinstein. Essay by Christian Kravagna.
79 pp., 61 color illustrations, 6½x9".
It was not an accident that Swiss artist Sascha Reichstein’s book shares the same title as the iconic hotelier’s biography of Conrad Hilton. Hilton’s mantra was if you guarantee the traveler safe and familiar surroundings no matter how alien their destination, you can create a tourist industry. In a time of global awareness, Reichstein asks if this ideology is still valid. To explore this question two Hilton hotels in two extremely different locations are documented: the Hilton Vienna Hotel in Austria and the Hilton Hotel Colombo in Sri Lanka. As expected, the interiors of each Hilton are almost identical while a step outside screams of two absurdly different cultures. Interviews by hotel staff bring the viewer even further into the vast differences masked behind the opulant backdrops. By the use of this juxtaposition Be My Guest confronts issues of colonialism and exclusion in a time where life is much more messy and a hotel door cannot block out the reality on the streets. Essay by Christian Kravagna.