Author(s): Dennis Hopper
In Dreams. Scenes from the Archive adds to our understanding of Dennis Hopper's personal vision as an artist by tracing the threads of Hopper's life through photography, and connecting his roles as an actor, husband, father, and photographer. In Dreams eschews Hopper's iconic stand-alone images and instead looks to distill the archive into a connected set of photographs that offer new impressions and stories. Themes emerge, visual rhymes are made, and characters come and go while the reader is invited along for the journey. Hopper's photographic output was especially concentrated in the '60s, a period in which his film career had cooled off. During these years Hopper's primary creative outlet was his photography. The Nikon camera his wife Brooke Hayward gifted him hung so prominently around his neck that friends jokingly called him 'the tourist.' While In Dreams, which references Roy Orbison's song by the same name made famous in Blue Velvet, includes appearances by famous faces, they are intimately intertwined with Hopper's peripatetic life and his everyday use of the camera. Hopper was very much an insider - at ease with celebrities and artists of his day - but this new conversation with his archive shows that, like many photographers, Hopper was also distinctly an outsider. Famous himself, but also an observer: it's this unique duality that allowed Hopper to view the world in his unique way.