Jacques Henri Lartigue “Zissou as a ghost Pont-de-l’Arche”, 1905
You could imagine it really: developing a photograph only to discover a ghostly apparition – a mysterious double, a whitish ephemera. It could be enough to make you believe in ghosts if you knew it wasn’t a hoax. Could the apparition be a long lost relative? Could it actually be a ghost? They must have wondered. During the nascence of photography spirit photography was in vogue. Photography still held on to a sort of magical aura and to use it to communicate with the dead made photography a portal into the afterlife. It was the 1860s – people had lost loved ones in the Civil War – death was omnipresent and gullibility was at an all time high. One of the greatest spirit photographers was William H. Mumler. One day he developed a photograph that appeared to show a cousin that had been deceased for twelve years – it was actually a double exposure – and Mumler had inadvertently stumbled on to his calling. Like a vulture Mumler preyed on people’s greif. One of Mumler’s most famous photographs apparently shows Mary Todd Lincoln with the “ghost” of her husband, Abraham Lincoln. Mumler would eventually be tried in court as fraud. He was acquitted, but his career was destroyed and he died penniless. What are left of the spirit photographs today are haunting; some are ridiculous. We know now they weren’t actual spirits, but they were symbolic, visual accountings of a zeitgeist – of humanity’s willingness to exploit technology for our insatiable, lustful curiosity and material gain. (SEE MORE PHOTOS….)
A this one to the list of the growing phenomenon of designer retrospectives being held around the world. Inspiration Dior, an exhibition at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, explores the birth of the legendary fashion house. Christian Dior was born in the seaside town of Granville on the coast of France, the second of the five children of Maurice Dior, a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer and his wife. His family had hopes that the young Dior would become a diplomat, but his artistic sensibilities would obviously prevail. In 1947 his ‘new look’ collection is established and the House of Dior is born. The exhibition explore not only Dior, but the inspiration behind Dior, guiding the visitor “through the Dior artistic creative sources of fashion and its links to history, nature, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and film. It reveals how an idea, a feeling, an era, a garden, a perception or even a smell can instill an idea in the heart and mind, giving rise to a unique creation.” Inspiration Dior is on view until July 24 2011. www.arts-museum.ru
Pas Un Autre photographer Adarsha Benjamin’s transparent business card. Look out for her editorials in the first issue of Autre Quarterly, a quarterly print edition of Pas Un Autre, coming out this summer. Please sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send an invitation to receive a free copy of the first issue to your doorstep.
Cult Australian fashion label Ksubi, toast the long awaited return of their colored denim range, with a short film directed by Australian director Daniel Askill. Kolors is a fume-fuelled, slow-motion battle between three color-clad models and a trio of ‘80s muscle cars. With the Ksubi team securing the very last sets of limited edition colored tires by Kumho available in Australia they then enlisted Askill and his team at Collider to fuse the vivid smoke with the spectral denim range. Models Bambi Northwood-Blythe, Cisco Gorrow and Heidi Harrington-Johnson act as modern-day matadors to the rumbling Ford’s that attempts to hunt them down while the girls soar above the cars to an operatic soundtrack. Shot next to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport in barren industrial wasteland that car fanatics converge on after dark and with a Phantom camera, Askill captures each and every denim movement and smoke billow at 1500 frames per second. The collection is available today in stores worldwide. www.ksubi.com
right: Philippe Halsman, Story for life + lover, 1949 left: Bert Stern, Fashion for Prenton Vogue, 1970
Aristocratic, the online gallery of limited edition art photography, presents an exhibition entitled (Un) dressed – an exploration of the nude in photography from 900 until today. The exhibit is an exploration, not so much of the nude itself, but of the evolution of the nude – “women in their complexity” seen through the eyes of major Italian and international photographers in the last century such as Edward Weston, Helmut Newton, Karl Lagerfeld, Hideki Fujii, Nan Goldin, Araki and Maurizio Galimberti. The 25 works on display offer a fascinating journey through space and time to grasp how the image of the women have changed. The exhibition can be seen from May 5 to 18 at the Hettabretz, Palazzo Borromeo in Milan or online. www.aristocratic.com
This isn’t just any history piece – this is the true tale of a great emperor’s penis. In 1977 Napoleon Bonaparte’s shriveled, severed 1.5 inch penis was sold to urologist John K. Lattimer for three thousand American dollars. It should be noted, for good measure, that Lattimer also owned a pair of Herman Göring’s underwear. I would hate to think that 190 years after my death my shriveled penis would be sitting in a nice wooden box in some stranger’s attic, but then again thats never really been my concern. (READ MORE….)
Behind the scenes. Adarsha Benjamin Shoots Voxhaul Broadcast in Venice, California. Footage by Oliver Maxwell Kupper for Pas Un Autre. Music by Voxhaul Broadcast
A groundbreaking new exhibition pairs the artwork of Chaim Soutine and Francis Bacon now on view until June 18 at the Helly Nahmad Gallery in New York City. www.hellynahmadgallery.com
After director Fritz Lang vaulted to prominence with such masterpieces of German cinema as Metropolis and M, he brought his art to Hollywood films, including Fury, Ministry of Fear, The Woman in the Window and more trenchant tales of innocents caught in a web of seeming guilt. His last U.S. movie is this intriguing film noir about a novelist (Dana Andrews) out to expose the injustices of capital punishment. Working with his fiancée’s (Joan Fontaine) father, a newspaper publisher (Sidney Blackmer), he frames himself for murder, intending to produce exonerating evidence at the last moment. But the publisher suddenly dies, the evidence is lost… and that’s only the first twist in a brilliantly layered plot ideally suited to Lang’s talents. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt has been recently restored and is available on DVD.