For the first time in Italy, Fondazione Sozzani presents the exhibition “Silver Lake Drive”, where photographer and director Alex Prager sums up ten years of work. The exhibition is curated by Nathalie Herschdorfer, director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts Le Locle in Switzerland.
Prager’s work is cinematographic and draws inspiration from what surrounds her – her personal experiences, street photography, pop culture and movies. She employs stylistic elements that recall film noir movies, thrillers, dramas and crime dramas.
Women are often the protagonists of her works, and emotions drive them. By using vivid colors and slightly familiar images, Prager is able to create her own original world, where she explores dark subjects in a seductive, disturbing way.
Her roots lie in the photographic tradition of William Eggleston, Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman, masters in the art of “freezing” intangible everyday moments.
Prager’s work features impressive set designs and large-size images in saturated colors. Her photographs can be considered as narrations of a single photogram that capture enigmatic stories defined and limited by the frame.
The marking trait of her works is the lack of a linear narrative.
Los Angeles, where Prager was born, is both her inspiration and the background to many of her works, such as Polyester (2007), Week-end(2010) and Compulsion (2012). Although her pictures seem to capture fleeting instants, they are in fact the result of a laborious production process. For the movie Face in the Crowd (2013), for example, Prager hired a team of over 150 people, besides 350 extras and a collection of scene objects that the artist has been gathering for twelve years.
Her movie La Grande Sortieis made of pictures and frames from movies shot on the background of the Opera Bastille in Parigi. The series guides spectators along a journey through the emotions that the étoile (Émilie Cozette) experiences as she dances – from her initial stoic determination to her panic. The movie is a tribute to a reality once again linked to cinema and theatre, at the same time ordinary and imaginary.