Josep Planas’ life was very much tied in with the utopia of tourism. It was also, however, about a sometime athlete, an entrepreneur who tripped upon success, and a man who discovered poetry through images. Josep Planas i Montanyà was, among many other things, a photographer, a compulsive collector and the founder of Casa Planas, in whose archives a great part of the history of tourism in Spain lies.
It would perhaps be very bold to say that Josep Planas invented the postcard but he was, nonetheless, the first to understand the commercial potential of the concept. Planas opened his first store in 1947 and closed the last one in 2002. Following almost six decades of uninterrupted activity, his archives now slumber next to the remains of the old Cinema Lumière. The Sant Ferran warehouse is a reflection of his whole life: a passion for the sea; discovering the idea of a souvenir; a scene at dusk with a forty-year history; a helicopter; working as a correspondent for Televisión Española; and the vestiges of twenty-two stores focused on nurturing a collective fantasy: tourism as a means of escape.
Postcards & Memories could be a documentary portrait of Josep Planas, and is indeed that, but it is also a documentary about memory, tourism, nostalgia, poverty and hedonism, leisure activity and fun, love and the landscape. It is a work about the unquestionable power of images and commercializing memories. And it is also a homage to an island that once was.