It is ultimately about ways of seeing. What is the way in which you choose to see fashion as opposed to art as opposed to sex as opposed to advertising in contrast to life, real life ? What are the lines separating and distinguishing all these driving forces in our culture? Photography is only truly powerful when it can provoke a body of questions and the beauty of this film lies precisely in the questions it pulls up in its wake..
You can see "Stag Film" for its pure beauty, as a series of images rendering the horse's classical form as a sculptural black and white abstraction. As the initial press release this summer for the gallery exhibition of "Stag Film" explained " Is it that Stag Film is simply about motion and emulsion and how light at 250th of a second captures and renders life static?".
But you also have the option of being startled and shocked by "Stag Film": by its realness in documenting the urgency in which this stallion battles a "phantom" mare.
Or you could synthesize all these layers of reaction and see a shadow play of life and death and sex ... of the species fighting desperately to perpetuate itself, of an artist identifying poetry in that struggle.
For further information on purchasing the book edition of Stag Film, here are the full details
In Stag Film Klein reproduces and sequences 60 black-and-white images culled from a larger photographic series on horse studding produced by the photographer. The process of horse studding has fascinated Klein, a well known horse enthusiast and competitor, and in Stag Film he trains his camera on the horse breeding routine involved in collecting a stallion's semen for implanting in mares. Quite literally, a stallion is led into the paddock and introduced to a dummy, or "phantom" mare. Using a combination of artificial inducements the stallion is drawn to mount and penetrate the dummy, into which its semen is projected. The act completed, the stallion descends and is led away. Although Klein's photographic series is, at first blush, purely documentary, the artist Klein is never a mere literalist- therefore, Stag Film continues his artistic investigation into form, shape, body movement and pose. Like his earlier bodies of work, his enduring subject in Stag Film is how we harness, form and reform a body's natural shape for theatrical and often erotic effect.
Stag Film is currently available at JMc & GHB Editions and is issued in an edition of 2000 copies and a limited, signed edition of 100 copies. The limited edition comes with an original, framed black & white photograph, signed by Klein. The frame is a traditional portrait frame procurable at your local department store. With it, collectors can add Klein's horse to their extended family album. An additional deluxe edition is planned of 10 copies, with a custom box, a signed print, and a horse condom laid in.