Stephen Hilger: In the Alley (Hardcover)
A subversive portrait of Beverly Hills in a gorgeous leporello format
This leporello publication presents Brooklyn-based photographer Stephen Hilger's (born 1975) color photographs of service alleys and the backside of houses separating the public from the private in the affluent suburb of Beverly Hills, California--a more anomalous view of the place by depicting the physical and symbolic spaces behind the homes of the area's wealthy residents. Eva D az has written that Hilger's emphasis suggests that "Beverly Hills is actually two cities, a 'front' city of impeccably maintained homes and a 'back' city that covertly services the front illusion. Hilger photographed their graffiti, security signage, crammed garbage cans, unaesthetic car parks and overgrown vegetation; the maintenance staff who work nearby; and the alleys' most indelible feature, narrow, high walls that denote a claustrophobic refusal of inspection."
In the Alley features 22 panoramic photographs in a leporello-folded format so the reader can leaf through the photographs or expand the book-object for display. An essay by novelist Matthew Specktor maps out the significance of Hilger's alley views in the context of personal histories and Hollywood stories. In a conversation, Hilger and photographer James Welling discuss their respective practices.