A trio of exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and London by contemporary artist Alex Prager present her new series of photographs titled Compulsion. These images, that capture pregnant moments and play with high-melodrama using iconic, cinematic sight-lines, engage the viewer with an immediate emotional response. Compulsion, with its repeating image of an eye, is unmistakably voyeuristic; “the protagonists remain anonymous and distant” and we, the watchers, perpetually observe their tragedy but never take part in it.
The second part to the exhibition is a new film, Le Petit Mort, made on an aesthetic parallel, but a complete narrative tangent. We follow a character, a woman who is “experiencing the boundaries of her body and those of the world.” Orgasm and death, we are told “are two experiences cut from the same cloth – the former a grand exit, and the latter a slow escape.”
Together these works mark the artist’s intention as charged and provocative – “meaning” we are reminded, “is often derived from a multiplicity of gazes” and our being forced to make assumptions from the carefully composed crops and edits that the photography and film show us, presents us with a very interesting non-truth.