From Epcot to Babyland General, an end-of-summer celebration of theme parks, roadside attractions, and more strange places photographer David Walter Banks calls ‘altered theatrical realities.’
Photographer David Walter Banks calls the places he shoots “altered theatrical realities.” You probably just call them “where we went on our vacation.” It’s a know-it-when-you-see-it category that includes conventional theme parks, themed environments such as the Caribbean vacation spot Atlantis, and the mom-and-pop roadside attractions that preceded Disney’s lands and worlds. Banks calls his project “The Fourth Wall,” after the theatrical conceit that the audience is staring through the invisible fourth wall at the actors on stage. Noting that as children we are taught to discriminate between the real and the imaginary—that we learn quite early to build our own fourth walls—Banks thinks that theme parks and their kin allow us to destroy that wall by, as he puts it, “pretending we are in a place or time that we are not.” Goodbye, global warming, unemployment, and love handles. Hello, Renaissance Faire.