Gregory Crewdson

Gregory Crewdson

In a Lonely Place

16 March–25 May 201316 Mar–25 May 2013

Crewdson’s images compress the melodrama of an entire movie, or soap-opera season, into a single, elaborately constructed scene.—New York Times

American photographer Gregory Crewdson is famous for his large-scale, staged photographs that offer an eerie view of middle America. He says: ‘In all my pictures what I am ultimately interested in is that moment of transcendence, where one is transported into another place, into a perfect, still world.’ Crewdson is preoccupied with human alienation, and his work has been compared to the melancholic paintings of Edward Hopper and the American-Gothic films of David Lynch. The show features three series: Fireflies, Beneath the Roses, and Sanctuary. Fireflies reveals the mesmerising traceries of insects, as they illuminate Summer evenings. The large colour photographs in Beneath the Roses show Crewdson at his most iconic, majestic, and cinematic. They were shot like films, with a process involving actors, sets, lighting, and an army of assistants. They present scenes of homes, streets, and woods, from unidentified small American towns, and suggest emotionally charged moments, where ordinary people are caught in ambiguous, disquieting situations. Epic in scale but intimate in scope, these breathtaking images straddle cinema, painting, and photography, fantasy and reality. In Sanctuary, Crewdson documents a ruin—the decaying sets at Cinecitta film studios in Rome. Their haunted atmosphere becomes subject and protagonist. These desolate images refer back to Crewdson’s debt to cinema.

A joint project by Melbourne’s Centre for Contemporary Photography (for the Melbourne Festival) and Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art.

Curated By
  • Estelle Af Malmborg, Jens Erdman Rasmussen, and Felix Hoffmann