SUSANA RAAB

AMERICAN IDLE (2004-2009)


The convenience of modern living has allowed us to enjoy unprecedented amounts of leisure time and methods through which to spend that time. American Idle explores our modern preference for the marketed moment, the pleasure purveyed. 


It began with a set of brochures found in the lobby of aGainesville, Florida motel. “Visit Jerusalem in Orlando!” was the unlikely announcement on the Holyland Experience’s handout.  “Step back in time to the dawn of the Middle Ages” offered the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.  “Be Petty” was the succinct tagline for NASCAR driver Richard Petty’s Driving Experience. The exchange of cash for the opportunity to enjoy free time well spent.  


I started the project with those venues, and by continuing to photograph festivals, celebrations, and events I seek to unravel our modern malaise, one amusement at a time.  In the hustle of our lives, leisure time can be as stressful as work.  But it does prevent us reflection, from finding a moment’s contemplation. The bright lights of the fair can be a darker siren’s call.  We are lost,wandering through an interminable off-season.  The festival is ongoing, but the party is over. 

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