Every theme park throughout the world is itself a hyper-reality, because they bring “the fantastic”, “the imagined”, “the oversized” and “the exotic” to life, into actual reality. Hyper-reality has been defined as “a copy without an original” –meaning something that is created, that supersedes in aesthetics and cultural perception, from the thing it is based on. For example, our local Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. is a recreational area inside its theme park based on “the small Midwest town’s main thoroughfare”, but it is heavily romanticized with little authenticity –and yet, guests often have a much more emotional attachment to this illusionary, fabricated place, then to the real world.
In this postmodern reality, artifice is what is true and celebrated –where architecture defies boring boxes with gridded windows, and instead transforms buildings into structures that take the shape of ducks and hats. Here, these hyper-real environments tell stories and have character. Hyper Reality animates inanimate objects. It allows the impossible to be possible. It cleans up history by simplifying it to make it more palatable, which then in turn, creates nostalgia. And it is often a nostalgia for a time or place that never really existed.
A question pondered in recent decades has been: Can we Make America Great Again, if it never was in the first place? Have we been living in a Hyper Reality all along?
In Fauxtopia, Hyper Reality is concentrated for you to explore. Different from the other lands in the park, Hyper Reality has concentrated areas, such as ETOCS (the acronym for the Ethnic Tapestry of Cultural Stereotypes) on Lake Cliché –an eclectic series of international restaurants and cafes; Kitsch Gardens, G.E. McAtnoff’s personal collection of oversized objects that are both works of art and crass advertising; and Ye Olde Colonial Civil Renaissance Re-enactment Festival Faire, where guests can see Confederate soldiers joust Genghis Khan –because that was “There and Then, not Here and Now”, and “History is so easy to mix up”.