Week 3 – Alex Prager, Contextual research 08.02.20
This week I received the Alex Prager – Silver lake drive book and I have spent the whole of today reading through the text and interviews, and pouring over the images, and I wanted to write my thoughts on it whilst it was all fresh in my mind, as I am, so, inspired by it . First of all, it is not without a bit of awe, and a bit of sadness that I say, this was the first time I have ever bought a photo book and been equally as interested in the text as the images, that’s not to take away from the images at all, but to say, I think this module is having a massive effect on me, both my working process and absorption process.
I have noticed I have started understanding terms without having to google dictionary definitions (thank goodness !) or raiding the Tate art terms book , as well as knowing a much larger portion of artists mentioned (or their works) than not. All amazingly positive steps that are having a huge impact on my work, and the understanding of where I have been and want to go with my practice.
There were many parts of the book I was drawn too, but I have collated some of my favourite sections, quotes and words, and am going to write my thoughts where relevant .
Some of the following I have shared as I believe the quotes are simply insightful into the inner workings of Prager’s photographic practice, some because they relate directly to my wider pedagogical body of work within the MA, some for their link to the tableaux work I plan on creating this module, and some just because I love them and they resonate with me as an artist.
“PRAGER’S PHOTOGRAPHIC & FILMIC COMPOSITIONS, LIKE EGGLESTON’S PHOTOGRAPHS, ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S FILMS & EDWARD HOPPERS PAINTINGS, REVEAL THE EXTRAORDINARY LURKING WITHIN THE ORDINARY.” (PG 13)
“Wreaking havoc with our involuntary voyeurism & our tendency to leap to conclusions about peoples characters based on the merest details of their appearances. Prager cues our own fantasises by representing her own ” (Pg 13)
“While Prager’s sets, or settings, are often generic, it is her use of costume that most extends her narratives.” (pg 13)
“Most of Prager’s subjects are not posed like fashion models; rather, like street photography , they seem captured in some kind of motion.” (pg 14)
“The film editor assembles fragments of time and space – often indicating multiple viewpoints – in ways that resemble a dream.” (Pg 14)
“Similarly, Prager creates a confusion between reality & fantasy by making use of photography & films precarious balance between documentary & fiction.” (Pg 14)
“Dream describes the cinematic-like interplay of memory & imagination that occurs during sleep.” (Pg 15)
PRAGER, ALEX. 2018. SILVER LAKE DRIVE. LONDON; THAMES AND HUDSON.
ESSAYS AND INTERVIEWS WITHIN THE BOOK.
PRAGER, ALEX. 2018. GOVERN, MICHAEL. ‘DOUBLE-TAKE’ SILVER LAKE DRIVE. LONDON; THAMES AND HUDSON.