Realism and Illusion: Catherine Wagner Photographs the Disney Theme Parks

Exhibition, Octagonal gallery, 17 June 1997 to 28 September 1997

Realism and Illusion: Catherine Wagner Photographs the Disney Theme Parks presents a visual essay of the Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, and Paris. Fascinated by the importance of illusion in the design and layout of the parks, Wagner aspired “to add yet another layer of deception to this already simulated world, our world, where illusion is now more real than life.”

Known for her photographs of sites in development (the George Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco), classrooms (American Classrooms), domestic interiors (Home and Other Stories), and laboratories (Art and Science), Wagner has shown a special concern throughout her career for “fabricated” environments. The first work by Wagner to use a colour process, Realism and Illusion was created through a photographic commission by the CCA. Visiting the Disney parks for the first time, Wagner saw them as “the contemporary landscape par excellence, archetypes of American culture.” From the start, she chose to photograph the parks when closed to the public, hoping to encourage viewers to project themselves into the images, at the same time intensifying the ambiguities of the sites.

The photographs are also included in the exhibition catalogue Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance, edited by Karal Ann Marling.

Curators: Paolo Costantini and Nicholas Olsberg, CCA.

Selected objects
Publication
Related exhibitions
Related articles
1
1

Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Email:
Subject:
Notes:
Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Email:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least one week for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least twenty-four hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)
...