Stages of Persuasion by Justin Nolan

Issue 76

Fantasy works when the participant in the drama plays along with the storyline.  Much of my work investigates the powerful role that staged spaces can have in influencing human desires.  Idealized and explicit notions of nature, beauty, and even fear are presented in many of the themed restaurants, stores, and amusement parks I’ve photographed.  

Increasingly, themed spaces try to engage the spectator with an ‘experience’ that engages all of the senses, not just the visual.  Sounds, smells, and lighting all work along with architectural symbols to create an experience which surround the participant.  The architecture of these spaces often mix and repurpose familiar symbols so that hospitals start to look like spas and shopping malls look like cathedrals.  The camera isolates and repositions the often disjointed decorative elements in these public spaces.

These locations actively engage the willing participant in fantasy and play; often the notion of fantasy is explicit and consensual.  Other locations like the Apple store or IKEA seek to manipulate in a much more subtle way.  These consumer spaces play on aspiration and identity with attention to every detail.  In these images, devoid of people, the viewer becomes the audience to the absent narratives in these stages of persuasion.

Justin Nolan lives and works in Daytona Beach, FL.
To view more of Justin's work, please visit his website.

His work is currently on view at the Schneider Gallery, www.schneidergallerychicago.com, in Chicago until August 29th.

  Goddess Fortuna

Goddess Fortuna

  Archery Range

Archery Range

  Meeting Room

Meeting Room

  Barbie Shoe

Barbie Shoe

  Paris, Las Vegas

Paris, Las Vegas

  Spa

Spa

  Northern Lights Room

Northern Lights Room

  Fish Bowl

Fish Bowl

 Stage

Stage

  Apple Store

Apple Store

  Bass Pro Shop

Bass Pro Shop

  Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe

  Restrooms at Carlsbad Caverns

Restrooms at Carlsbad Caverns

  Old Time Studio Chair

Old Time Studio Chair

  Monument Valley Gift Shop

Monument Valley Gift Shop

  American Girl Restaurant

American Girl Restaurant

  Lawn Chairs

Lawn Chairs