"La Grande Sortie"

Alex Prager's fascination with cinema directs her practice. Her saturated photographs embrace the nature of the medium through time sensitive choreography. Prager’s crowd shots showcase her talent for staging complex scenarios that culminate in a singular, tell-all-moment—a smile, a stare. The Hollywood act comes naturally to the Los Angeles-based artist.

Prager’s affinity for the theatrical comes through in her latest endeavor, La Grande Sortie, a film which she made for the Paris Opera Ballet. The highly stylized short adopts the play-within-a-play structure. It begins with patrons standing in line for a new ballet, which we learn was made specially for its prima ballerina. The curtain opens and her funny little story begins. Not the artist’s first venture into filmmaking, La Grande Sortie demonstrates Prager’s ability to immerse the audience in her fantasy. The darkly humorous results point to both personal and global matters, pluralism to stage fright. Played out in campy make-up and dramatic cuts, Prager’s narrative builds upon her interest in the contemporary frame of mind and its relationship to entertainment and art.

Runtime: 10 minutes

La Grande Sortie will be on view at Lehman Maupin Gallery, 201 Chrystie Street, NY, NY, 10002, until October 23.

K.H.

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