Room of the Valkyries


Since The Lord of the Rings trylogy, of which its first part was directed by Peter Jackson, tourism in New Zealand has not stopped growing exponentially. The national tourism authority would never have dreamed such an avalanche of foreigners would come with the premiere of the adventures of Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum and Aragorn, despite spending millions of NZ dollars on promotion. Just one film, only one impression, was good enough to entice us with those dreamscapes we enjoy now and forever.

The same feeling came to us some decades ago with the vision of 2001: A Space Odyssey. When the master Stanley Kubrick took us into science fiction ecstasy, we ran to Copenhagen for a few days to seeing with our own eyes the white, pristine, hotel lobby SAS, designed by the great architect Arne Jacobsen for the final chapter of the film. Let’s surrender to the evidence. Just one film sequence and the Danish’s capital was filled with onlookers who spent a whole lot of money in the trance of this kind of victorious futurism.

At this stage of life, who hasn’t followed the footsteps of Leopold Bloom in Dublin with James Joyce’s masterwork Ulysses in hand? Chapter to chapter, phrases, syntagmas, pleonasms —what we actually know as the artifice of the inner word— are threshing from the fingers to our mind, while our eyes constantly scan the banks of the Liffey River, Martello Tower, Trinity College and John Mulligan Pub. A book is enough to attract millions of tourists, and better than advertising budgets costing millions that are used by tourism authorities in many countries of the world.

Ok, sometimes money isn’t be able to buy everything. Sometimes, we need an injection of inventiveness into a vein.

Finally, Spain has its own cultural icon: Ferran Adrià. So far we lacked a Tolkien, a Kubric, a James Joyce. But now the kitchen —which is also a superlative art, as it was demonstrated at the Documenta Kassel Art Fair— opens the way to our own movie. The film of a vigorous country despite the brick landscape which insults our coastline and, at the same time, enriches our economy. What about our hotels? Which iconoclastic advertisement do Spanish hotels actually requiere?

Let’s read Marta Terrat’s timeline on Facebook. «I am a fan of pretty hotels and I’m a fashion photographer, so I want to know special places for use as a location for the shootings». In fact, I was shooting last fall in Les Cols Pavillions, nearby the Costa Brava, and I encouraged the hoteliers to participate with various proposals that, in my opinion, would help many of them to find the way to the Ring, the Swan chairs decor and a pint of Guinness in the guests veins.

Indeed, Terrat was fortunate to participate a few years ago on a photo shoot for the American magazine Sports Illustrated at the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa. The bikini models Irina Shayk, Daniella Sarahyba, Julie Henderson and Zoe Duchesne were certainly attractive in the photos. But I also found immensely seductive the fact that the Chilean hotel which hosted that meeting could make an exquisite photo album to present to its guests of itself and these female beauties for free in the famous sports magazine.

Why not take as a reference the work of Marta Terrat and other photo agencies like hers interested in having locations in line with the quality of these magazines or advertisers of fashion products? I never tire of saying that to merit a cover on Sports Illustrated it’s not enough to bust just any hotel. We must offer to the retina the exciting gift of what I call “the architecture of the senses”.

That is a ride to wisdom, beauty, emotions and Lord of little things. That is a journey to hotels’ destiny. Becoming a room for modern valkyries.

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