CURATORS Estelle Af Malmborg, Jens Erdman Rasmussen, Felix Hoffmann OTHER VENUES Kulturhuset Stockholm, 19 March–12 June 2011; C/O Berlin, 2 July–4 September 2011; Det Nationale Fotomuseum, Copenhagen, 22 September 2011–28 January 2012; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, [dates]; Stenersen Museum, Oslo, 26 April–12 August 2012; Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, 28 September–11 November 2012; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 16 March–25 May 2013; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 28 September 2013–26 January 2014 SPONSOR Ernst & Young PUBLICATION publisher Abrams Books; texts Gregory Crewdson, Craig Burnett, Estelle af Malmborg, Jens Erdman Rasmussen, Felix Hoffmann
Crewdson’s images compress the melodrama of an entire movie, or soap-opera season, into a single, elaborately constructed scene.—New York Times
American photographer Gregory Crewdson’s photographs come from the dark heart of contemporary America. They belong to a cultural lineage that stretches from Edward Hopper to David Lynch, by way of Flannery O’Connor and Alfred Hitchcock.
Working like a film director, Crewdson creates elaborate scenarios, either on location or in studios, using sets, actors, and full production crews, all in search of a perfect ‘moment of grace’. This search sometimes involves closing down entire streets, using snow machines, and shooting at twilight, when expansive lighting set ups can most effectively cast the beams of light that transform the mundane and vernacular into the mysterious and transcendent. In his work, the setting becomes part backdrop, part character, the site for charged dramas that locate the alienated individual within or against a landscape as pressingly psychological as it is physical.
This touring exhibition brings together three bodies of work, each seeking or constructing ‘a lonely place’ through its distinct relationship with photographic histories. Crewdson’s Beneath the Roses series blurs the photographic and the cinematic to illuminate the dark side of the American dream. In Sanctuary, Crewdson turns elsewhere, to Italy—to the abandoned film sets at Cinecitta film studios in Rome once used by Federico Fellini, and closer to a documentary tradition. The intimate Fireflies photographs capture the light and energy of fireflies during mating rituals, dancing for Crewdson’s camera.