New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

SUPERMAN UBER ALLES
Reiner Riedler
Fake Holidays
Reiner Riedler, Superman Above Red Square - Turkey, 2006

It wasn’t so long ago (well it was the last century) that vacationing usually meant going to exotic locales, or taking whirlwind tours to experience the sightseeing rush of “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium.” Things change.

As Reiner Riedler ably demonstrates in his amusing series called “Fake Holidays,” there’s no need to stray far from the nest these days. Lifestyle Tourism is now here to accommodate some of your wildest fantasies and your quest for vicarious thrills without sticking your neck out or breaking the bank. The idea of vacation theme parks as shown here no doubt came from the success of Disneyland, but these ”fake holidays” somehow seem more real and more outrageous.

 by unidentified photographer.
Reiner Reidler, Ski Dubai 2008

Riedler finds the fake in some surprising locales. In “The Talk, Ski Dubai Indoor Dubai,“ five men wearing Kanduras, the native style robes, are gathered on a “ski slope” that appears to be covered with real snow, the ski lodge is in the background, outside it’s probably 100 degrees. Next stop, the Minsk World Military Theme Park in Shenzhen, China. Three sailors in uniform are smartly saluting but their ship is on dry land; the back story is that the Chinese bought a Russian ship for scrap but then decided to put it on display in this theme park. The strangest scene, but probably the one with universal appeal, is entitled “Superman Above Red Square.” A Clark Kent-type in Superman costume is flying over a Turkish hotel’s swimming pool with the towers of Red Square in the background. Germans in search of a tropical resort vacation don’t have far to go. Tropical Islands Resort near Berlin calls itself “Europe’s largest tropical holiday world,” with a lagoon, tropical plants and too many fake clouds.

It’s tempting to compare these images with Martin Parr’s work on the English middle class on holiday but these go further afield and into stranger territory. “Fake Holidays” has something for everyone...and no reservations required.

Reiner Riedler
Fake Holidays


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