Gregory Crewdson

b.1962, Brooklyn, USA


Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson, Untitled (man in the woods), 2003



The works in Gregory Crewdson's Hover series seem to be aerial portraits of everyday suburban American life. Shot in black and white from the top of a crane, the images read first as archival documentation, depicting static and ordinary landscapes. Upon closer inspection, however, they give a picture of events completely out of sync with the mythology of suburban lawns and picket fences. Perfect giant circles are burned into meticulously trimmed grass, recalling the patterns supposedly left by aliens on corn fields in the American mid-West. The neighborhood watches as a section of the asphalt road is covered over with clean squares of turf.

Domesticity and nature, the normal and the paranormal, artifice and reality are made to co-exist in these spaces. The images are taut from maintaining such contradictions. They depict a topography born of the Cold War imagination, which was obsessed with atomic destruction and repressed its fear by assembling an army of single-family homes. Crewdson refuses the viewer any dramatic narrative release, suspending them in this space that is at once deeply familiar to some, yet also fundamentally askew. It is the space of disavowal made manifest.