A Tourist's Devotional

In many ways, Las Vegas and Rome appear distinctly opposed: Rome is an historical touchstone of Western society and archetype of high culture, Las Vegas is in a state of perpetual newness and rebirth and is the quintessence of entertainment culture. As an artist and a former resident of Las Vegas, I am attentive to the similarities between these cities whose economies are primarily driven by tourism and tied, albeit in very separate ways, to a maintenance of fantasy.
Native to neither, I inserted myself into the landscapes of both — engaging as a tourist in one, a local in the other. Taking cues from the Christian baptism ritual, a common theme in High Art and a practice deeply infused in Western spiritual identity, I employ the motifs of transcendence and rebirth to investigate spectacles of authenticity and to examine my own social embeddedness.