Off The Strip


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Ask anyone what Las Vegas looks like and you’ll often receive the same answer: glittering lights and huge casinos. It is not even necessary to have visited to be able to picture the city in your mind. But besides the glitz and glamour of the strip, there are suburban, residential areas that are hardly seen – at least not by tourists. Aram Tanis (1979) documents these neighbourhoods in Off the Strip, seen in fleeting glances as an American muscle car speeds past. Black and white images show the emptiness of these spaces, the palm trees are still here, but modest condos, wire fences and back alleys betray the backstage part of this city. Hints of the Las Vegas we all know are visible in the background, high-rise apartments and large hotels are just about in shot, contrasting the foreground. The boring normality of it all actually serves as the antidote to the saturated kitsch that lies just a few hundred metres away.


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