Curated by Stephan Berg
December 18th – March 2nd 2008
The show traces the artistic trajectory of the photographer Gregory Crewdson, born in New York in 1962, from the "Early Work" series back in 1987-88 through the works of the 1990s, including the "Natural Wonder" and "Dream House" series, all the way up to the most recent, entitled "Beneath the Roses" (2003-2005). Opening on 19 December and closing on 2 March 2008, the exhibition is the only Italian stage on a tour of several European cities. Organized in collaboration with Crewdson by Kunstverein Hanover, it constitutes a complete retrospective of the American artist's work, represented on this occasion by all his most important photographic series: the early works created between 1986 and 1988, when he was still a student; "Natural Wonder", reflecting his fascination with events of a magical and mystical nature; "Twilight" (1998-2002), which won international recognition for the American photographer. In these images, "the intriguing and obscure energy of an indomitable nature arrives in the sitting room". In the most recent series, "Dream House" (2002) and "Beneath the Roses" (2003-2005), Crewdson decidedly appears to be working more as a film director than a photographer.
Set in suburban America, his images draw upon the films and myths of Hollywood for their most immediate citations, allusions and motifs, and take Das Unheimliche, Freud's investigation of the uncanny, as their point of reference. The splendid and complex settings are painstakingly prepared with the aid of a large team of assistants both in the studio and at selected locations. An influential teacher at Yale University, Crewdson proves in turn to be influenced in his precise and realistic depictions of rural America by the documentary style invented by historical photographers like Walker Evans and William Eggleston. With his belief in a largely narrative style and his use of stage lighting as well as fantastic, supernatural elements, he has, however, also developed still further the tradition of staged photography, launched by artists like Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall and now regarded as one of the most important modes of expression in contemporary photography. The show of work by Gregory Crewdson is accompanied by ‘Cinema visionario' (Visionary Cinema), a film festival opening on 8 January 2008 in the Cinema of Palazzo delle Esposizioni and including films by David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Lars von Trier and the Coen brothers.