|Name||American Byzantium: Photographs of Las Vegas|
|Description||At the beginning of the third millennium, Las Vegas, Nevada has become a new model of consumer entertainment--the total pleasure market in which everything is for sale. Hancock's superb photographic eye chronicles the pop-culture fantasy playground that is Las Vegas, a physical location as much as an idea, a place that deliberately blurs politics, money, art, religion, entertainment, sex, and anything else architects can imagine and marketeers can sell. The range of Hancock's images is as diverse as the city itself: the town's neon-saturated nights; the glitzy, monumental hotel-palaces; the decaying buildings yielding to wrecking crews; the billboards that sell everything and convey unexpected truths; and a sampling of all that draws a worldwide audience seeking to be entertained. Accompanying Hancock's startling images and perceptive introductory essay is Gregory McNamee's thoughtful reconsideration of Las Vegas. His essay relates in words what Hancock narrates visually, exposing in the process a city caught between opulence, glamour, fantasy and poverty, decay, and despair. Together text and image in this book convey the essence of Las Vegas--the magic of illusion. This book is ultimately about material and spiritual alchemy--the transformation of fantasies into reality and the purification of consumption.
Las Vegas is a visceral city, an exaggerated feast for the eye, and at the same time it is a community fractured by consumerism--in which buying and selling set all our choices. No book to date offers the intense emotional experience of Las Vegas found in "American Byzantium."
|Publisher||University of New Mexico Press|