TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT January 1996

AMERICAN MYTHS

Lost Los Vegas

IS IT JUST A COINCIDENCE that Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls, Mike Figgis’ Leaving Las Vegas, and Martin Scorsese’s Casino, three would-be down-and-dirty 1995 Hollywood tributes to lost Vegas, all went into production at more or less the moment when, led by the refurbished MGM Grand Hotel, America’s fastest-growing metropolis began promoting itself as the new Orlando? Lost Vegas became Vegasland, a wholesome middle-American theme-park resort or, as Nick Tosches calls it in his intro to the recently published, elegiac anthology Literary Las Vegas, “a corporate-run nightmare draped in the cotton candy of family values.” Though pols may squawk about our unraveling moral fabric, the sometime crime of gambling, legitimated by both church and state, has been reborn as an essential source of tax revenue, a $30 billion mass entertainment providing half a million predominantly low-salary service jobs

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1996 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.