Photography

Alex Prager Photographs a ‘Face in the Crowd’ (Photos)

In a new exhibit at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., Alex Prager examines the anxiety, detachment, and need for human interaction felt by individuals in crowded public spaces.

Alex Prager

Alex Prager

There’s a certain anxiety that resonates in crowded public spaces: airport terminals during the holiday season, beaches in the middle of summer. LA-based artist Alex Prager explores just that, capturing the “psychological narratives of private and public revelation, repulsion, fear, personal safety, and the desire for basic human interaction” through a series of large-form images. Prager staged and directed fictional scenes with hundreds of actors, wanting to envoke the same emotions she encountered while traveling frequently. Although placed among a crowd, the focal pointor person—of each image appears lost, frightened, and detached from the overwhelming surrounding scene. "I’m fascinated by the experience of being involved in other people’s lives accidentally,” Prager said. “Crowds have always been an interest of mine. It may look like a sea of people, but there are so many interesting stories, all colliding silently.” And while Prager's images do have a fashion editorial feel—she's shot for the likes of magazine and Bottege Veneta (co-sponsors of the exhibit)—feelings of confrontation and drama, in an almost theatrical sense, allow her to bridge into other sectors of photography.  On display for the first time in Washington, D.C., Prager's Face in the Crowd images are presented with some of her earlier work, as well as three of the artists's video installations: Despair, La Petite Mort, and Sunday.

 

'Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd' is on display through December 9, 2014, at Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Alex Prager

Crowd #2

 

Alex Prager

Crowd #3, Beach

 

Alex Prager

Crowd #4, New Haven

 

Alex Prager

Desiree

 

Alex Prager

Irene

 

Alex Prager

Barbara

 

Alex Prager

Rachel and Friends

 

Alex Prager

Despair Film Still #1

 

Alex Prager

Despair Film Still #2