Following the huge success of her recent monograph and mid-career retrospective Silver Lake Drive, Alex Prager’s new show at Lehmann Maupin in New York sees her draw upon the experience of becoming a mother, as well turning her lens once again to Los Angeles, an enduring theme in her work.
Play The Wind includes Prager’s trademark compelling cinematic photography, as well as the titular short film – another notch on her continued transition into moving image. The surreal short follows two protagonists, played by Riley Keough and Dimitri Chamblas, as they drive through a dystopian Los Angeles cityscape. Part nostalgia trip, part comment on the future, the story is also evocative of Prager’s own journey, both in work and life.
In what’s been called Prager’s most personal work to date, the show features family members among the film’s cast, as well as a snippet of her own face – a new development for Prager and an interesting one considering her acknowledged struggles with stage fright. These appear alongside nods to other artists and references to her own work, including the series Compulsion and The Big Valley.
Elsewhere, props and objects seen in her work have made their way into the gallery as sculpture work – including the jeans-clad figure central to Big West (above) – opening up her detailed creative process to the public. As ever with Prager’s work, the show mixes reality and fiction in an intriguing, ambiguous narrative, which is left for the audience to interpret.
Alex Prager: Play the Wind runs at Lehmann Maupin, New York until October 26; lehmannmaupin.com