In her latest solo exhibition, American photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager, whose surgically precise composition is reminiscent of her influence Cindy Sherman, proves she can still intrigue with her art without using Hollywood star power.
In this exhibition, the 38-year-old Prager debuts her first sculpture as a three-part piece which challenges the way we see by toying with proportion. Entitled Hand Model (detail) (2017), the sculpture is a finger with the nail painted fire engine red protruding flirtatiously from the wall. In the photo Hand Model (2017) the advertised ring is the focal point instead and the very same finger is relegated to the backdrop, popping the rhetorical question of “How curated images/reality can be?” Hand Model (2017) also plays a cameo role in the carefully orchestrated photo Star Shoes (2017), as the back cover of a tabloid, held by another lonely soul in a sea of faces.
Prager has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock and it is hardly an exaggeration in light of the level of suspense and detail at work in her intentionally glossy photographs (it is more fitting to call them film stills). In Hawkins Street (2017), you are left wondering who the blonde in the orange summer dress is – is she just a pedestrian crossing the street? Or has she just been dumped by her lover whose hands on the wheel are only visible?
The narrative possibilities are endless in Prager’s photography, which reminds us that what is beyond the frame is just as mesmerizing as what is captured by the lens, if not even more so, and in the age of doctored “truths”, it is a crime to be a believer.
18 Jan – 17 Mar 2018
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm
407 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Hong Kong
Photo courtesy to Lehmann Maupin and the artist