Alex Prager / Compulsion
March 6 – May 24, 2019

Alex Prager. Polyester: Four Girls, 2007. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents Compulsion, an exhibition by the American artist Alex Prager.

Alex Prager is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and photographer. Her work consists of elaborately staged scenes that draw inspiration from a wide range of influences and references, including Hollywood cinema, experimental films, popular culture, and street photography.

 

Alex Prager. Face in the Crowd: Crowd #3 (Pelican Beach), 2013. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. Anaheim, 2017. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Her familiar yet uncanny imagery depicts worlds that synthesize fiction and reality. The highly choreographed nature of her photographs and films embody a visual vocabulary and style that has become uniquely her own. Beyond the bright and attractive façade of Prager’s imagery is a world full of emotion, drama and psychologically rich subjects. Her hyper-stylized and layered compositions, like those reminiscent of Diane Arbus and William Eggleston, exist in a space where there is no clear boundary between fact and fiction as well as superficiality and depth.

 

Alex Prager, The Big Valley: Desiree, 2008. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. The Big Valley: Susie and Friends, 2008. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. The Big Valley: Eve, 2008. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

In order to create a ‘living picture’ Prager carefully constructs the décor to emulate familiar places – streets, beaches, airports, and fills them with an onslaught of carefully crafted characters that are immersed in their own internal dialogue. The early work of the artist has been described as a snapshot of a ‘moving image,’ deeply cinematic it’s no surprise that the work has sub-sequentially and seamlessly transitioned into films.

 

Alex Prager, Polyester: Julie, 2007. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. Compulsion: 4:01pm, Sun Valley / Eye #3 (House Fire), 2012. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. Compulsion: 3:14pm, Pacific Ocean / Eye #9 (Passenger Casualties), 2012. Courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin

This exhibition includes pictures from Alex Prager’s key photographic series, as well as from four films: Prager’s debut film Despair and Sunday (both 2010); the film La Petite Mort (2011), narrated by Gary Oldman; and finally, the film La Grande Sortie (2016), commissioned by the Paris Opera and inspired by the 1948 film The Red Shoes. Émilie Cozette plays the lead role in La Grande Sortie as the prima ballerina and the soundtrack adapted from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was devised by Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.

 

Alex Prager / Compulsion
March 6 – May 24, 2019 / MAMM Multimedia Art Museum Moscow
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