Monday, October 05, 2009

Fun and Games

Sad lonely arcades, tattered carnival attractions, haunted houses and threadbare strip clubs. Lisa Kerezsi new book, Fun and Games, has just been released by Nazraeli Press, and is the culmination of a large ongoing project investigating the odd and mysterious places we go for amusement. With the closure of Astroland in Coney Island, space like those photographer by Kereszi are fast disappearing, but nevertheless, remain a vital part of the American landscape.

What is remarkable about Kereszi is her subject often seems so common (abandoned spaces and kitschy spaces), especially among photographers, yet her attention and keen eye make the work wholly her own. As she states, "when you look at a nocturnal place in the light of day, it looks strange and uncanny. Reality becomes surreal. I look at those banal details that I find (a rip or tear, some dirt, a crack) with a documentary, deadpan view, but colored with emotion and desire and a longing for something beyond." Like the curtain pulled back on the wizard of Oz, the attention to detail in these images reveal all the longing, hope and desperation that imbues these spaces.

The book itself is gorgeous. At 14x12 inches, the images have a power and presence that is difficult to achieve in smaller books. At only fifty images, the book is also tightly edited and sequenced to great effect. Humorous, smart and affectionate, Fun and Games shows how even a clichéd subject can be transformed by a great photographer.

© Lisa Kereszi, All Rights Reserved

© Lisa Kereszi, All Rights Reserved