An off-beat and beguiling journey into the dark corners of the mind, Go Down Death is something you haven’t seen before. It was shot on black-and-white Super 16mm and filmed in 14 days in an old abandoned paint factory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The film feels like it was beamed from another plane of existence. It’s an ensemble piece that takes place entirely on constructed sets of decaying buildings that are inhabited by amputated soldiers, tone-deaf bar singers, child gravediggers, and shape-shifting doctors, all surrounded by an unseen, foreboding presence existing outside the frame.
It’s also the kind of rare filmmaking that sticks with you. I found myself recalling moments from the film—like the howling sound of the wind or a character muttering the line “Ghost haunt me, but I’ll haunt no one”—days after I’d seen it. Perhaps the film’s lasting quality can be attributed to its grim subject matter. There’s a lot of talk of death, disease, and the breakdown of the body. It’s all very exposed and vulnerable. You’ll probably find yourself feeling those qualities after the credits roll.
Photos by Ol’ Skool Sean
Winogrand was a photographer of people, from rodeo performers in Texas to socialites in Manhattan to the regulars at Venice Beach. Humanity—or perhaps American humanity—in all its iterations and range of expression, was his subject matter.
Surveying Garry Winogrand’s American Epic
In order to enter the Garry Winogrand retrospective that opened last month at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you exit the main auditorium into the south wing, where you are greeted by a long corridor of Greek art from the sixth through fourth centuries BC. It mostly consists of statues in various poses—some at war, some lost in thought, some proclaiming, some brooding. By the time you reach the Winogrand show on the second floor and begin to survey the work, it may occur to you that the Greek gallery provided something of an anachronistic prologue. Known for his routine of tirelessly walking the streets candidly photographing city life, Winogrand was a photographer of people, from rodeo performers in Texas to socialites in Manhattan to the regulars at Venice Beach. Humanity—or perhaps American humanity—in all its iterations and range of expression, was his subject matter.
The Met is the third stop of the exhibition’s tour, originating at San Francisco MoMA. The project began when gallerist Jeffrey Fraenkel asked photographer Leo Rubinfien to help compile a large retrospective book of Winogrand’s work. Rubinfien agreed, but in his own words, “it was immediately clear you needed a museum.” So Rubinfien approached San Francisco MoMA Curator of Photography Sandy Phillips, who jumped at the idea of doing an exhibition, in which Rubinfien, who is not a curator by trade, would act as such. This iteration at the Met was reduced from the original SF MoMA show by Jeff Rosenheim, curator in charge of the Department of Photographs at the Met. It is the first Winogrand retrospective in 25 years, a virtual eternity for an artist of Winogrand’s renown, let alone an artist no longer living.
Magnum Photos’ 67-Hour Instagram Print ‘Flash Sale’ Broke the Internet
Magnum Photos is the photo cooperative founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour and George Rodger. VICE readers will know the name because of our “VICE Loves Magnum" series. As photo agencies go, the place is famously old-school, and, for better or worse, grounded in tradition and some vague but admirable principles about the photographic medium. So, it’s a little surprising and maybe refreshing to see Magnum using Instagram to sell somewhat "affordable art" in the form of what their calling #MAGNUMSquareprints.
In honor or the 67th anniversary of the organization, Magnum is offering signed 6x6” prints for $100 during a 67 hour window. The sale is raising eyebrows in the photo world (their site crashed due to traffic when the sale launched on Tuesday), and some are wonder if the agency has found a way to unite its stodgy history with a young, Instagramming audience. “That the site crashed due to too much traffic is expressive of something I wouldn’t have guessed,” Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas told VICE, “it’s something we’re still sorting out as a society: when everything is available online, why do people still want to own physical photographs? In some ways, the sale will inform us about what people today find valuable to have.”