UNDERCOVER #14: GREGORY CREWDSON
by Gianpaolo Arena


Yo La Tengo “And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out”, 2000 Matador Records

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© Gregory Crewdson, Untitled, 1998 from the series “Twilight”

The title of one of the most beautiful albums of the band of Hoboken comes from a quote by Sun Ra « At first there was nothing… then nothing turned itself inside-out and became something». From a small, quiet town in New Jersey (USA) on the way up to the endless drifts of intergalactic space. The thread that connects the sky and the stars with their music slowly unfolds. From the Sixties melodies, that recall Velvet Underground, Kinks and Feelies, up to a dilated and ethereal psychedelia, at times hypnotic and smooth. Starting from the end emerges the epic ballad “Night Falls on Hoboken” that accompanies us for almost 18 minutes, with a sleepwalker indolence that leads the stars to be swallowed by the darkness of night. Equally beautiful are the initial idyll of “Everyday”, the tender chant of “Tears In Your Eyes”, the distortions and noisy feedbacks, in the style of My Bloody Valentine, of “Cherry Chapstick”. Melancholic and wistful melodies, jazzy atmosphere, warm and dreamlike, follow one another in the 13 tracks of the album. In the cover image, American houses are framed by the forest and the night, as wrapped in a waning twilight light, unreal and metaphysical. Blue Velvet by David Lynch, Alfred Hitchcock, Edward Hopper, Diane Arbus are the most immediate references to describe the cinematic style, dramatic and crepuscular of Gregory Crewdson, the author of the photograph. Often disturbing and surreal, his large format images are made with substantial resources by a team of professionals and finely processed in post-production, with a directorial style. The scenery that animates Crewdson’s imaginary and his scenical and symbolic narrative, are shrouded in an aura of loneliness and mystery, almost as if something was moving restlessly beneath the surface. The same prison that surrounds the muffled music of the three paladins of American indie rock.

LINKS:


© Yo La Tengo performing live in the KEXP studio, 2013


© Gregory Crewdson's Photography Capturing a Movie Frame, Reserve Channel, 2012. Gregory Crewdson is a unique photographer who creates "movies" through a single photograph. Gregory, along with a massive crew, scripts out, sets up and shoots single photographs that are beautifully epic. The photographs he creates explore a psychological nature of humans that can be both majestic and disturbing. The creativity shines bright in the work of Gregory Crewdson.

© All copyright remains with the photographer and property

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Undercover is a special issue dedicated to photographers and musical covers.