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Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A
Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A
Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A
Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A
Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A
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Gregory crewdson – ART3 - Section A

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  • 1. Gregory  Crewdson  –  Twilight    Introduction    This  body  of  work  is  about  expressing  and  projecting  subjects  who  suffer  from  dissatisfaction  in  a  location  where  one  would  presume  them  to  be  tranquil  and  at  ease  within  their  confortable  environment.  Gregory  Crewdson  in  all  of  his  bodies  of  work  like  Bresson  searches  for  the  perfect  moment,  to  blur  the  line  between  reality  and  fiction.  As  Gregory  Crewdson  says  “when  everything  comes  together,  in  that  instance.  My  life  makes  sense”  this  statement  is  applied  to  the  body  of  work  Twilight.    These  images  capture  almost  the  before  and  after  of  a  scene,  caught  in  ‘the  moment’  a  snapshot  of  one  time.  Crewdson  uses  real  life  locations  but  adds  surreal  elements  this  helps  combine  the  overall  view  of  the  juxtaposition  between  beauty  and  sadness  and  how  close  that  line  can  often  be.  This  is  depicted  by  how  the  subjects  are  content  but  also  in  despair  at  the  same  time  shown  by  Crewdsons  use  of  body  language,  props  and  lighting.  Demonstrating  the  contradiction  people  feel,  one  moment  happy,  the  next  filled  with  desire.  It  discusses  the  issue  that  we  are  flawed  because  we  want  so  much  more  than  we  have  and  are  ruined  as  when  we  get  these  things  we  desire  what  we  used  to  have.      Twilight  is  personal  to  Crewdson  as  it  links  to  his  interpretation  of  middle  class  within  America,  Crewdson’s  background  is  within  middle  class  America,  he  was  brought  up  in  this  environment  so  is  displaying  what  he  has  seen  in  terms  of  discontentment  in  an  environment  that  many  people  aspire  to  be  within.    This  is  from  his  first  hand  experiences  as  a  child.  The  scenes  he  creates  are  of  graceful  middle  class,  suburban  America,  but  they  display  more  than  that  by  showing  a  realistic  suburban  America  but  
  • 2. adding  complex  lighting  and  Crewdson’s  direction  of  the  actors  and  also  the  fact  that  Crewdson  searches  days  on  end  searching  for  the  perfect  location.  All  of  this  combined  is  what  gives  Crewdson’s  images  such  atmosphere  and  emotion,  they  visually  represent  what  people  in  this  enviroment  feel.    Purpose  and  Meaning  Crewdson  was  driven  to  capture  this  body  of  work  as  he  was  searching  to  create  a  visual  representation  of  social  expectations,  boundaries  and  repression  in  this  specific  environment,  which  is  not  expected  to  hold  these  conditions  hence  his  use  of  these  locations.  Using  this  as  a  visual  representation  for  how  people  living  in  these  environments  are  feeling;  ungratified  by  their  current  environment  and  situation.  He’s  trying  to  capture  people’s  emotions  by  visuals.  This  is  Crewdson  showing  how  the  subject’s  suburbia  American  life  is  not  as  blissful  as  the  overall  surroundings  make  it  out  to  be.  Crewdson’s  decision  to  shoot  at  the  time  of  ‘twilight’  is  interesting  because  it  is  the  time  between  sunset  and  dusk,  where  the  surface  of  the  earth  is  neither  completely  lit  nor  completely  dark.  This  relates  to  his  concept  as  the  subjects  are  happy  with  the  life  they  have  achieved,  but  at  the  same  time  they  are  unsatisfied  with  what  they  have.  They  want  more  but  they  are  not  entirely  sure  what  that  is.  Almost  as  in  what  they  believed  to  be  perfect  is  far  from  it,  and  they  now  long  for  what  they  once  had  but  they  cannot  escape  the  world,  the  family,  and  life  they  have  created.    Often  Crewdson  directs  his  subjects  sitting  away  from  all  their  surroundings  in  mid  thought  these  subjects  are  as  ‘unresolved’  as  the  images.  This  is  due  to  Crewdson’s  use  of  framing.  He  chooses  to  commonly  use  the  rule  of  thirds  in  his  images,  placing  his  subjects  in  one  of  the  intersections  which  instantaneously  draws  the  audience’s  attention  to  the  subject,  this  also  distances  the  subject  from  their  surroundings  via  the  use  of  negative  space  which  detaches  them  from  their  environment.  Crewdson  does  this  to  demonstrate  how  these  subjects  are  lost,  not  in  a  literal  sense  but  how  in  that  moment  in  time  they  are  dislocated  from  reality,  not  interacting  with  their  surroundings,  trying  to  escape,  trying  to  resort  to  a  normal  existence.    Also  using  this  type  of  body  language  adds  to  the  enigma  codes  of  the  images  as  Crewdson  is  controlling  what  the  audience  see’s  or  knows,  giving  more  questions  for  the  viewer  to  have  to  reflect  upon  and  answer  this  links  to  the  staged  Narrative  genre  and  how  Crewdson’s  work  conforms  to  this  genre  more  than  any  other.          
  • 3.                        The  lighting  links  to  his  conceptual  practice,  by  lighting  images  during  twilight  specifically  due  to  the  juxtaposition,  which  constantly  crops  up  in  Crewdson’s  work.  He  doesn’t  want  complete  darkness  upon  his  images  but  neither  does  he  want  too  much  light.  This  type  of  lighting  adds  to  the  fictional  and  ‘surreal’  element  of  the  images  as  this  time.  "Twilight  is  evocative  of  that.  Theres  something  magical  about  the  condition."  The  mystifying  nature  of  this  lighting  combined  with  strong  artificial  lights  and  certain  backdrops,  props  and  location  create  the  ideal  suburban  America  for  Crewdson’s  shoots.    Above  a  standard  picture  of  suburban  America  Below  a  Crewdson  Image  depicting  Suburban  America    
  • 4. He  has  shot  it  in  a  certain  mind  set  trying  to  blur  the  line  between  reality  and  fiction;  this  is  why  he  often  has  beams  of  light  shining  through  his  images,  almost  a  sense  of  hope  in  this  same  old  environment,  as  I  believe  it  relates  to  this  perfect  middle  class  families  who  are  caught  in  their  ‘twilight’  what  they  once  aimed  for  they  are  now  running  away  from,  the  ‘American  dream’  relates  to  how  these  people  living  in  these  suburban  house  are  in  competition  with  each  other,  always  having  to  maintain  this  perfect  family  scene  which  Gregory  is  trying  to  depict  is  completely  fake,  hence  the  beam  of  hope  shining  throughout  many  of  his  images.      Gregory  crewdson  images  are  influenced  by  film  names  like  Steven  Speilberg  to  David  Lynch.  The  link  to  speilberg  is  straight  forward,  Speilberg  is  known  for  his  extravagent  film  sets  and  his  expedential  use  of  lighting  and  props,  Crewdson  is  directly  influenced  by  this  idea  as  his  own  images  use  the  same  complex  film  sets  and  extravagent  lighting.    David  lynch  was  heavily  involved  in  the  surrealism  movement  known  for  his  surrealist  films  and  his  unique  style  towards  creating  films  like  ‘blue  velvet’  often  containing  elements  that  can  disturb  or  mystify  audiences,  a  style  reffered  to  as  ‘lynchian’.  Surrealism  is  a  ‘20th-­‐century  literary  and  artistic  movement  that  attempts  to  express  the  workings  of  the  subconscious  and  is  characterized  by  fantastic  imagery  and  incongruous  juxtaposition  of  subject  matter’.      Crewdson  often  captures  the  moment  between  the  ‘before’  and  ‘after’  the  moment  when  a  scene  is  in  full  swing,  like  shown  below,  the  image  depicts  a  woman  in  underwear  hunched  as  if  she  has  just  cracked  and  the  ‘perfect’  world  around  her  has  cracked  too,  I  believe  this  is  what  Crewdson  is  trying  to  capture,  the  falling  apart  of  a  scene.    A  surrealist  Crewdson  image:      
  • 5.  Crewdson  links  directly  to  this  as  his  is  often  considered  a  surrealist  himself,  working  with  fantasy  and  the  juxta  position  of  fact  and  fiction,  often  in  the  form  of  a  subject  placed  irregulary  in  a  scene  confusing  but  dazzling  the  audience  simultanesiouly,  ‘mystyfying’  the  audience  just  as  david  lynch  would  in  his  films.      David  lynch’s  photography      Awarding  as  many  questions  as  it  answers.    All  of  crewdsons  work  is  very  personal  to  him  and  all  of  his  work  contains  a  psychological  element  to  the  images,  I  feel  this  links  to  crewdons  relationship  with  his  father.  When  Crewdson  was  growing  up  his  psychonalsyt  fathers  office  was  located  in  the  basement  of  his  home.  Crewdson  although  told  to  ignore  the  whole  situation  was  forever  intrigued  by  the  situation  and  wonder  about  the  conversations  happening  below.  Since  this  Crewdson  has  used  his  interest  his  photography  to  also  show  a  phsychological  element  in  his  images  hence  his  heavy  use  of  enigma  codes,  almost  staging  a  scene  that  he  believes  many  people  are  feeling,  representing  emotions  with  visuals.    

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