House Taken Over, a title that refers to the eponymous story of the same name by Julio Cortazar, is the first exhibition in Spain by the photographer Gregory Crewdson (New York, United States, 1962). It presents his latest work: Twilight in addition to a selection of aerial landscape series (1996-1997) and a large photograph of landscapes taken at ground level (1996). All these pieces are a good example of Crewdson's work; they all have a very distinctive style: a combination of traditional photography with a documentary style and a dreamlike vision of reality similar to David Lynch’s or Steven Spielberg’s cinematography. From this approach to the recreation of a reality that is not real, his photographs relate to the reinterpretation of traditional genres of American photography, while supposing a critical investigation on today’s society through various aspects of American and Western lifestyle in general. The artist constructs the visual, narrative space of Twilight using elements related to literature and cinema, as with photography. This provokes a degree of mystery that forces an irrational interpretation of the images that make up this series.
Crewdson constructs his indoor and outdoor scenes with visual languages from magicism and excessive realism. The dramatic and cinematic treatment of light and the unexpected discovery of certain objects or beings inside a house contribute to this confusion of planes (fiction or reality, dream state or awake). What is being questioned in each of his images is the boundary between the everyday and the paradox of strange spontaneity. Thus, what is domestic invades what is natural, while homes are invaded by unexpected elements (a forest in the middle of a lounge or towers of bread slices in a forest).
The house appears as a theme and setting par excellence in Crewdson’s images. In them, the house functions as a metaphor for existence and of a place where all our fears and threats converge. Tension is high in his photographs but under the apparent disposition (disorder) lurks a sinister silence. Nature is altered by the invading presence of man who in the end is thrown out of his home, overtaken by a nature who responds by overgrowing it. Each one of these images prompts a careful reading through the various physical and conceptual planes that appear intertwined in them: the place and moment when two worlds merge without a line of thought that can define them.
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What Are We Doing Here?
Alternative Spaces in Madrid at the Turn of the CenturyMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación