Hopper Redux

Edward Hopper has served as an important historical precedent for Halaban's work for a long time and the influence is made explicit in this series. She photographs the exact locations in Gloucester, Massachusetts where Edward Hopper painted. The photographs elicit an uncanny familiarity. They echo Hopper's paintings, but they are decidedly photographic and of the present day. In this sense they seem to oscillate between the historical past and the contemporary present.

Halaban is interested in how the architectural forms themselves register this complicated temporality, as even in Hopper's day many of the buildings represented a style that was already historical. Although Hopper is typically known as a realist, Halaban has chosen to emphasize the psychological character of his paintings, shooting his original locations with striking lighting that make buildings seem like metaphors for emotions. As such they become dramatic characters in their own right: dynamic and evolving.

Taking cues from Hitchcock's mise-en-scène, Halaban renders these already familiar tableaux uncanny. This highlighted sense of artifice underscores the photographs' status as re-presentations.

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