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In a Lonely Place

28th Sep 2013 - 26th Jan 2014

Gregory Crewdson’s photographs come from the dark heart of contemporary Americana, belonging 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 sound stages, 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 always 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 often transcendent. In his work the setting becomes part backdrop, part character, the site for highly-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. Where Beneath the Roses series wilfully blurs the photographic and the cinematic to illuminate the darker side of the American dream, with Sanctuary Crewdson turns elsewhere—to Italy, the abandoned film sets once used by Federico Fellini, and closer to a documentary tradition. The intimate Fireflies photographs capture the light and energy of fireflies performing during mating rituals, and seemingly dancing for Crewdson’s camera.

This exhibition is the largest showing of Crewdson’s photography in New Zealand. Curated by Estelle Af Malmborg, Jens Erdman Rasmussen, and Felix Hoffmann, the exhibition is a joint project between Melbourne's Centre for Contemporary Photography (for the Melbourne Festival) and Brisbane's Institute of Modern Art.

Gregory Crewdson is represented by Gagosian Gallery, New York, and White Cube, London.

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