We’re long overdue an update on Alex Prager’s fabulously melodramatic photography; the last time we posted about her was almost two years ago, and she hasn’t paused making work since. As ever there’s a strong undertone of voyeurism to her images, with her style still characterised by loaded cinematic poses and hectic multitudes of people crammed into small places.
The new exhibition at New York’s Lehmann Maupin Gallery entitled Face in the Crowd includes a three-channel video installation and a new film, plus a couple of older elaborately staged photographs – a combination which makes sense, seeing as photographing crowds is a theme which has run through Alex’s work for years. She explains: “You could say the show took a year to make, but really I’ve been shooting crowds, and trying to shoot crowds, and failing to shoot crowds, and sometimes figuring out how to do crowds, for the past four or five years.”
Whether she considers it trying, failing, or succeeding victoriously, the resulting collection of work merits more than a quick glance. The elaborate staging and meticulous costume choices cause both her film stills and her photographs to blend the boundaries separating photography from fine art, to fascinating and compelling results.
Face in the Crowd will be on display at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York until 22 February.