EVENINGSIDE – 2012-2022
Exhibition: 3 Jul – 24 Sep 2023
LA MÉCANIQUE GÉNÉRALE
33 avenue Victor Hugo
Les Rencontres de la Photographie
34, rue du Docteur Fanton
Over the past three decades, Gregory Crewdson has been fleshing out a portrait of middle America, that America of picket-fence suburbia gazing wide-eyed at the glimmers of a fading dream. His cinematographically staged photos have gradually pieced together the fragments of a twilight world. His œuvre stunningly interweaves an autobiographical dimension with the portrait of a gloryless America. Wan lights and deserted streets are recurring tropes in his works, which are prepared like movie sets to produce photos that quite astonishingly remain images from nonexistent films.
This exhibition brings together three bodies of work made between 2012 and 2022. They offer unique insight into a decade of creation and reveal the axes of the universe that has posited Gregory Crewdson as one of the major figures of photography. Cathedral of the Pines and An Eclipse of Moths mark a pivotal phase due to the intimacy with which they vibrate, crystallized by the images’ locations, which are connected to the lives of Gregory Crewdson, his romantic and creative partner Juliane Hiam, and their children. They imbue the autobiographical dimension with political overtones, most subtly expressed in Eveningside which conclude the trilogy, shown for the first time in France.
The trilogy is introduced with the earlier series, Fireflies (1996), stripped of the sets and elaborate postproduction that usually accompany his works. Fireflies stands apart from the rest of his œuvre and was kept away from the public eye for a full decade. With its swarm of nuptial ballets in a constellation-studded twilight, Fireflies reveals the world’s poetic pulsation, and thus provides a counterpoint to the world’s slow pulverization depicted in the trilogy. The fireflies convey a deep penchant for contemplation. Here lies one of the underpinnings of his œuvre, a fine oscillation between poetics and politics, between a modest sensitivity and the glance carried on the backwash striking a world caught by a slow brutality.