Escape is sometimes used as a term to describe breaking free from some form of confinement, physical or emotional, or generally fleeing any dire or merely disagreeable situation. […] We have seen how escape for millions of the world’s inhabitants world, however, the term has less fraught connotations. In casual conversation we use the term more lightly, and generally more positively, to suggest removing oneself temporarily from a familiar environment or routine – as for example when we speak of “being in a rut”, either at home or at work, and “getting away from it all”.

We search for amusement, diversion or distraction. On the one hand, we seek relaxation and rest; on the other, we yearn for novelty, adventure, social stimulation and excitement. The unspoken thought: once away for a while, we’ll be happy to come back to it all – those creature comforts that wealthier citizens of the world generally take for granted, and despite their habitual derision, would be lost without.

An industry of pleasure has risen up in the past century, offering a spectacular array of “products” to its avid consumers, whether risk-averse of thrill seeking, catering for the sexes, all age groups, and tastes of all kinds. For many, it’s a dance floor, where seeming abandon can disguise the rituals of the mating game.

William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell, "Escape" in Civilization: the way we live now, catalog of the exhibition of the same title, Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, 2018.