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Analyzing Gregory Crewdson "Unititled" Beckoning Busdriver

894 words - 4 pages

Postmodernism was essentially a move away from modernism. While modernism showcased structured and non-manipulated images, postmodernism was a departure from those methods in photography. Unlike modernism, postmodernism embraced the idea that if you looked hard enough, the truth would eventually break down. Not only that, but truth was seen as an illusion because there is doubt. Originality no longer exists. Authority was no longer trusted because it was believed that those with authority were more concerned with staying in power. Postmodernism is like a rebellious teenager, challenging all past idea’s about what traits photography had to have to be considered “art.” This style also dealt with questioning reality, decoding hidden messages, doing things differently, appropriation, taking something old and making it new, and creating a false reality. Postmodernism has a lot of similarities to pop art, installation art, and Dadaism. There were a lot of pieces in the Emily Fisher Landau exhibit that had traits of postmodernism in them, but one piece in particular stuck out to me.
Gregory Crewdson’s “Untitled” (Beckoning Bus Driver) grabbed my attention immediately. The scene seems to be shot a little after sundown. There is a small home in the foreground, and a red barn in the background. The house has lights on inside, the front door open, and a large window. Through a large front window the curtains are pulled back showing a family inside. A man sits in a large reclining chair; next to him a young girl sits on a striped couch. Both are faced away from the window, a slight glow on their faces indicates a T.V. in the room out of sight. There is a cement path outside the house that leads to an empty street. A young girl stands on this path, barefoot, in her pajamas. At the end of the path is a parked school bus. The doors are open, and the bus is lit inside revealing an absence of passengers. In the door of the bus stands the bus driver holding a light, beckoning the young girl inside the empty bus.
Crewdson’s photograph works as an example of postmodernism because it has a lot to do with questioning reality. Everything about this photo is very realistic and believable. It seems like a strange scene that could have been stumbled upon, possibly an ‘in the right place at the right time’ moment. There is this unmistakable psychological tension in the scene. The viewer will never know what happened before, or what happens after. The more you look at the image, the more you realize, or think, this can’t be real. Viewers are forced to question reality as...

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