Fantasies presents two distinct projects that photographer Lisa Kereszi carried out between 1999 and 2005, a period during which she frequented a series of venues specialising in vaudeville/burlesque shows, including Show World, a Times Square strip club now definitively closed down. The first project is a piece of reportage dealing with strip clubs in the aftermath of the prohibition of strip shows by the Giuliani administration. Kereszi introduces images of variuos theatres and dressing rooms, including Show World itself with its lockers still full of shoes and abandoned objects (Show World was in the slow process of becoming an off-broadway theatre, the Laff Factory). In the second project the photographer portrays the girls of the New Burlesque movement: performers reviving the art of striptease, which is more “tease” than “strip”. These girls are more like pin-ups than porn. In just a few short years, the movement has gone from being underground and underappreciated to being featured in films and practiced by celebrities in Hollywood. The two projects that meld together in this book have a meeting point in a sense of escape, desire, fantasy and sex.
Lisa Kereszi was born in 1973 in Chester, Pennsylvania and grew up in Suburban Philadelphia. After her studies in Literatute and Photography, she moved to New York and worked as an assistant to Nan Goldin. She has worked as editor and taught at the ICP. Currently she teaches at the Yale School of Art. Her editorial work has appeared in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, GQ, W, Houses & Gardens, wallpaper* and many others. She lives and works in Brooklyn and in New Haven.