When photography had first emerged, it was praised for its practicality; its ability to convey reality. Without the need to further explain, however, the medium was turned upside down by photographers such as Cindy Sherman, Gregory Crewdson, and Thomas Demand. Instead of presenting to viewers what is in plain sight; these artists ventured out to the creation of staged photography.
Alex Prager, “a photographer and filmmaker who creates elaborately staged scenes that draw inspiration from a wide range of influences and references, including Hollywood cinema, experimental films, popular culture, and street photography”, is having her exhibition at Lehmann Maupin during the mid of this month. Her work is known for her meticulous staging which involves her casting and choreographing for all her works. This not only presents a familiar yet uncanny world which blends fiction with reality seamlessly, they are deliberately done so to expose “the way images are constructed and consumed in our media-saturated society.” Her works also create a sense of ambiguity through conversing part and contemporary sources together.
Prager’s new body of works tells different stories with a strong sense of tension, whether between her removal of perspective or in her dramatic usage of “cropping, layering, and uncontextualized settings”. Whether she is showcasing crowds or a single individual, she “examines conflicting emotions of claustrophobia and isolation, revealing an ominous and perpetual anxiety”. Not to mention, her works continue to invite audiences to “complete the story”, while she pushes the realm for exploration further with exaggerated scales and dimensions.
January 18 – March 17, 2018
407 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Hong Kong
Image courtesy to Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.