The longing for a heavenly life is a constant factor in our dreams, however diverse. But, in reality, are all places equally distant from paradise? To explore this thesis, photographer Robert Rutöd delved into the burlesque realm of trade fairs. In his project Fair(y) Tales he embarked on an almost ten-year journey through a materialized world of dreams.
The longing for a heavenly life and the hope of everlasting happiness are a constant factor in our dreams, however diverse. But, in reality, are all places equally distant from paradise? Are some places not closer to perfection? Do ideal places exist? Vienna-based photographer Robert Rutöd explores this thesis by delving into the overstated world of trade fairs.
What fascinated Rutöd about these fairs is the uninhibited way they tackle subjects usually considered boring or taboo. Trade fairs, he says, are so focused on commercial interests that they lack morality or judgement entirely. These self-contained worlds, detached and independent of reality and everyday norms, are structured around passion. In this gigantic industry, with its mega-trends, every must-have commodity is just a touch away.
Fair(y) Tales is a journey through a materialized world of dreams. In ten years, Rutöd has visited 124 fairs throughout Europe. He has been to every type of fair – agricultural fairs, design and beauty fairs, baby fairs, dentistry and hunting fairs, erotica fairs, coin fairs and funeral fairs, to name just a few. Rutöd documents small, insignificant moments that usually go unremarked. In all of them he has found a tragic-comic element unique to the burlesque realm of trade fairs. The trade fair’s excessiveness can be dizzying, but as the saying goes, they all lived happily until their deaths.
In collaboration with the Embassy of Austria
Ya'ara Raz Haklai