“…At some point it was decided that reality was not the only option: that it was possible, permissible and even desirable to improve on it; that one could substitute a more agreeable product… The replacement of reality with selective fantasy is a phenomenon of that most successful and staggeringly profitable American phenomenon, the reinvention of the environment as themed entertainment” The Unreal America – Architecture and Entertainment, by Ada Louise Huxtable
Federal Series – The Way it never Was – Idyllic bedroom community
Reproduce a certain era, class – HeyDay of yesterday to Tourism (no preservation, fake , developer) – a selective look at history
Replica is accepted as genuine and the simulacrum replaces the source
Illusion fuels the replica of historic nostalgia that caters to tourism that is a major part of our national economy
Boston Post Road Series (Route 1) – Diplomat
Consumption / Economy – new new new
Interested in dilapidated – something “real” about them
Abandonment has its own meaning and message, a direct contact with what once was that disappears with restoration – one of these anomalies with no answer. In the restoration, what you see is what you get and what you get is not what it was.
Disney World is the most visited vacation destination on the planet. Annually 46 million tourists visit the Orlando area. In Sarina Khan-Reddy’s series of photographs entitled “Picture Spot”, she explores the perpetuation of the colonialist image, the construction of the exotic, in Disney’s theme park – Animal Kingdom. She asks the questions: What is authentic? What is the role of photography in tourism? What happens when you construct a scene (a spot) for a tourist snapshot? Does this perpetuate the construction of the other?
In this series I am combining historic, British, documentary photographs with personal images of my father. For example one historic British photo void of people, a ruin is complicating by adding an Indian man, my father dressed in Western cloths. This changes the power structure, as these British images of the 1800’s “documented” India as an open-air museum, profoundly in the past, disempowered. As I explore my father’s love of the British Empire and his desire to embody it, I am critically analyzing colonialism and at the same time desiring a discredited history. I find we reinterpret our parent’s lives; their identity is part of ours. I am exploring the politics of representation.