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New York photographer Gregory Crewdson departs from the work he is most known for—elaborately staged, cinematic photographs of suburban scenes, for which he employs an entire staff including a director of photography—with this deeply personal exhibit of photos created during a time of solitary introspection in the Berkshires.
In the summer of 1996, Crewdson spent two months in solitude at his family’s home in Becket, MA, during which he ventured out into the surrounding woods at dusk to photograph the lights of fireflies. Twenty-five years later, a selection of these small-scale black and white images will be on display in BBG’s Leonhardt Galleries.
Says Crewdson about Fireflies, which were originally shown at Skarstedt in New York in 2006, “For some almost unknowable reason, I was drawn to photograph the fireflies. To me there’s something so beautiful and mysterious about how they lit up the night sky in twilight. Of course, the light of the firefly is a mating call. So, I was really drawn to this idea of light as meaning, light as desire, and light as in again the most elemental way, as telling the story…we’re in such a different time now, we’re in a time of Instagram and cell phone pictures and selfies, and photography exists in the mass culture in this very democratic and very omnipresent way. These pictures are so removed from that because it’s just film and light, and to me it’s a kind of reminder that can be very meaningful, very profound.”
Fireflies were also part of a traveling European survey called Gregory Crewdson: In a Lonely Place, and then shown as a full set at Wave Hill, and SITE Santa Fe, followed by FRAC Auvergne in France in a show called Gregory Crewdson: The Becket Pictures. In BBG’s Leonhardt Galleries, the photographs will be presented in a darkened environment to evoke for visitors the atmosphere of nighttime firefly-viewing that inspired Crewdson all those years ago.
Berkshire Botanical Garden is a Covid-compliant facility. Please follow Covid guidelines. Advance ticketed admssion is recommended. Reserve tickets here!