Artificial worlds: Eerie images capture recreational places at the dead of night

(CNN)As the lights go off and the gates are bolted shut, the once colorful facades of lively recreational hot spots take on an eerie new life. That’s what Italian photographer Stefano Cerio says in his new book, “Night Games,” filled with images of recreational sites around the world that were taken exclusively at night.

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CNN: In “Night Games” you describe the final product as images of “artificial worlds.” What did you mean by that?
Stefano Cerio: In these parks, everything is manifested artificially. Even in matters of a natural landscape or a wild river, it is all man-made, but it has a very strong appeal and drags the visitor into its dreamy atmosphere. Similarly, I hope that my photographs of “Night Games” can give an idea of a completely alternative world.
    Did you intentionally set out to photograph recreational spaces or did it happen organically?
    There is nothing casual in my projects. It happens because I keep thinking about them for months. I usually build the images in my mind and then develop the project looking for the locations that might correspond to the original idea.
    Which site was the eeriest after the dark?
    The eeriest shot was the one in Mirabilandia (Ravenna) of the falling Statue of Liberty, which is in the area of the theme park dedicated to a pessimistic vision of the future United States.
    Is there anywhere you didn’t go that you wish you had?
    Being that Paris is my second town, I wish I could have gone and shot at Disneyland Paris or Park Asterix, but unfortunately I could not get the necessary permission by the administration.

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