October 31, 2013

Alex Prager, Mise-en-scène

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Alex Prager, La Petite Mort Film Still #5, 2012. Archival pigment print. © Alex Prager. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong, and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles.

The SCAD Museum of Art presents the first solo exhibition in the Southeast for Los Angeles-based artist Alex Prager. Mise-en-scène features two of Prager’s recent short films, Despair and La Petite Mort, together with selected film stills.

Evoking the filmic trope of the tortured heroine and employing techniques of suspense reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock, Prager constructs emotionally charged and seductive worlds. Whether in stills or moving pictures, Prager’s cinematic and saturated images are at once charming and disturbing. Their glamour and dark humor lure the viewer into ambiguous narratives and exquisitely crafted mise-en-scène.

“This was an excellent opportunity for SCAD to bring Alex’s dynamic work to the region. Her combination of cultural references blended with a unique vision and sleek style makes for a perfect fit within an art and design school and particularly for a teaching museum,” says Melissa Messina, curator of the exhibition. “This is an important moment for the artist and SCAD is glad to be a part of it.”

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Alex Prager was born in 1979 and lives and works in Los Angeles. Her photography and films have been exhibited worldwide, including a solo exhibition at Foam in Amsterdam in 2012, and in New Photography in 2010 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Prager is the winner of an Independent Photography Award, a Lucie Award, and the Paul Huf Award. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Kunsthaus Zurich, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, among others. Her first survey museum exhibition will debut at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. in November.

Melissa Messina is senior curator of exhibitions for the Savannah College of Art and Design where she curates exhibitions for the SCAD Museum of Art and SCAD galleries in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and Hong Kong. Recent SCAD Museum of Art exhibitions include solo exhibitions for Uta Barth and Ursula Von Rydingsvard, a site-specific installation by Ingrid Calame, and the group exhibition Stretching the Limits: Fibers in Contemporary Painting, among others.

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