The Pleasure Park, 2009, is a film and photographic series that examines the world of thoroughbred horse racing and jockeys. At the heart of this series is 5-minute immersive film installation that both reconstructs a horse race and explores the complex and charged milieu of the racetrack. As companion pieces are 1-hour videos that gaze quietly at jockeys, unclothed, revealing both their power and vulnerability. Photographic portraits of racehorses in a studio setting complete the series, presenting the formidable and sinewy animals off the track, deprived of visual cues. Although the ritual and pageantry of the race are alluded to in the accoutrement represented, the animals are suspended in motion, removed from the culture of commodity and winning at any cost. The intent behind The Pleasure Park is to capture the poise and resilience of the fleeting animal in space while placing the spectator directly in the racing environment, creating an overwhelming sensation of the beauty of the physical form and sheer force of these athletes.
The Pleasure Park creates an alternative perspective on a popular icon: the horse. Beginning with her years as a competitive rider, Dorfman has been intrigued by the historical and contemporary manifestations of equine imagery in film and here examines the sexuality, power, performance, vulnerability and sometimes unsteady endurance of horse and rider. This series not only gazes at the beauty of the racehorse, but also raises questions about the ongoing fetishism of thoroughbreds and their ultimate expendability for spectacle.