+ -

The Dead

Stan Brakhage

USA, 1960
11 minutes, Colour, Silent
Available formats: 16mm

‘… a very sombre and intense visual poem, a black lyric, if you like, but full of an open dramatic energy which puts it well above a formal or rhetoric exercise on Time and Eternity. In the visual form of the monuments of the Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the persistent and impenetrable geometric masonry gets to be less a symbol of death than a death-like sensation.’-Donald Sutherland.
Europe weighted down so much with the past, I was The Dead. I was always the tourist there, I couldn’t live in it. The grave-yard could stand for all my view of Europe, for all the concerns with past art, for involvement with symbol. The Dead became my first work in which things that might very easily be taken as symbols were so photographed as to destroy all their symbolic potential. The action of making The Dead kept me alive. – S.B.