Alex Prager’s new exhibition Part Two: Run is the concluding chapter of her exploration of social upheaval and people’s response to it, which began with her exhibition Part One: The Mountain, which premiered around this time last year.
The exhibition’s name derives from its central component – a short film called Run, which in turn is named after a song by Ellen Reid, who is featured on the soundtrack with Phillip Glass. The film showcases Prager’s penchant for playing with archetypes, a defining feature of last year’s edition of the project, which also included a cinematic element. Some of the characters from the last chapter reappear this time – for example the bushy Bruce with the bushy eyebrows.
While the previous film featured a series of interviews with cast members, Run is decidedly more action-packed. The film begins with a group of people slowly rolling a large mirror ball down an otherwise average street on an average day. The introduction comes alive with the sounds of choral singing heralding the film’s name – a haunting note that runs throughout the film, which playfully borrows from the surreal horror canon. The mysterious sphere is activated when a suburbanite inserts a coin into a vending machine and the ball shoots through the streets.
“The Mountain was just exploring the emotional states of such an extreme situation,” Prager recently told WePresent. “Run explores the mechanisms that got us there.”
The exhibition brings together complementary works created in other media, including Ball, a mirror sculpture inspired by the film’s central object, in which visitors are immersed in the scene through their own reflections. Photos from the film also feature in the show, including Cecily, who shows the protagonist (played by Katherine Waterston) with a sad expression that seems at odds with her cute outfit.
Another work entitled “Sleep” is an unsettling composition showing people lying on the ground on a suburban street as if an apocalypse had been unleashed by a flash mob – a symbol of Prager’s eerie mixture of sickness and evil.
Part Two: Run by Alex Prager is on view at Lehmann Maupin New York through March 4; lehmannmaupin.com