Well, dear friends, if you don’t know her it’s time to discover the world of Alex Prager.
Thank you to an old schoolmate and Instagram stories, I discovered that if you will be in Amsterdam at Foam Museum until 4th September, you will be lucky to see her work directly with you eyes.
On my side, I was lucky too, thank you to the Photographer’s Gallery in London, that hosted a solo exhibition last summer.
Who is Alex Prager and why she is so amazing?
She is an American photographer and filmmaker living in Los Angels (damn it, I wish to go there again asap).
Her photography vision is to create a copy of our world, a mise en scène, a staging, populated by a lot of different characters with different peculiarities. Each character is well studied, with a personality that we can read from her pictures. No one is anonymous, everyone can find a proper inner space in her pictures. It’s like a compendium of humanity. Do you know the quote that says Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about? With Alex Prager her characters are living stories vaguely familiar with the stories that we have seen before.
When we see her work, we are catapulted, strongly into a vertigo of humanity. We are into a set, a cinematography set. We know that what we are looking in the picture is fake, but we want to believe, we want to know what will happen next. We are like starved to know the ending of this enigmatic still movie.
Her pictures remind me about the work of Edward Hopper, with this sense of solitude and voyeurism, and also Alfred Hitchcock for the charming absurdity of the people photographed. The vivid colours that she uses, give to each image a cinematic and nostalgic look, of a time that looks like in the past, but it is actually the present or at least a hypothetical mindset present.
As I said she is also a filmmaker, and if the pictures already speak loud about her vision, her films videos are the perfect elements to complete her aesthetics. Spend some times to Youtube to check her works.
My favourite one is one of her last projects, La grand Sortie.
You will take part in the story of a classical dancer and her mental demons. This short film reminded me of the Black Swan and I liked a lot.
Also, Uncanny Valley (with Cate Blanchett btw), fascinates me, with this sci-fi noir story, a mix between Guy Bourdin and Tarantino.
A good investment for your photography library could be the volume published by Thames and Hudson, Silver Lake Drive.
Over 250 images and 205 pages to dive deep into Alex Prager world.
And if you are in Amsterdam or planning to go there, save this information:
Alex Prager – Silver Lake Drive at Foam Museum
14 June 2019 – 4 September 2019
Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam
Mon-Wed 10am – 6pm
Thu-Fri 10am – 9pm
Sat-Sun 10am – 6pm
Ticket 12.50 euro