16 April 2008

invited guest: Elsa Dorfman (second part)

Elsa says: "I was feeling very isolated and discouraged in fall 1969 when a postcard arrived -- 'Can I stay at your house next week, sunday, monday, tuesday? Love, Bob.' Bob Creeley was the first friend from out of town to visit me. He and I can sit for hours and talk and drink coffee."


The photo is the front cover of:En Famille: Poetry by Robert Creeley & Photographs by Elsa Dorfman

Elsa Dorfman is a great storyteller. I have been on her website elsa.photo.net several times, discovering new stories and pictures all the time.

There is another good story involving Bob Creely to be found in The Canyon country Zephyr. John Depuy, the painter recalls when he and Edward Abbey met Creely in the "WIld West". (Interview by Jim Stiles) "Then one day in Santa Fe, reaching the bottom of the pit, we decided to go over to Claude’s Bar which was the only Bohemian bar in Santa Fe and have a few a drinks. We were sitting over there moping over our beer and boiler makers---I need HELP---and in walks Creely, Bob Creely, the poet. He took one look at us and after about ten minutes, he says, "I’ve got to get out of here, you two are depressing me. You’re the most morbid couple of people, I’ve ever met."

You should by the way have a look at the work of Jim Stiles and the people he refers to. There is a book called Brave New West - Morphing Moab at the Speed of Greed that definitely made me interested in this man´s work.

The picture is from a series by Elsa Dorfman depicting three woman with breast cancer. It´s called NoHairDay and a film was made about it. You will find a lot more about NoHairDay on Elsa´s site. In a review Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote: "Intimate, humorous, and ever so real, NoHairDay captures the full catastrophe of life for three women with breast cancer who bravely came together for this artful documentary of their inward and outward odyssey. Part of its power is its explicitness, and part the community of shared doubt, purpose and celebration that emerges. Extraordinary both in the text and the signature Dorfman photographs..."

Elsa says: There is something right about Eila Kokkinen being part of my photographic career -- helping me edit images, install shows -- Winter 1974, Eila came over on a cold Sunday to help pick pictures for the Househook. It is freezing in my house -- sixty degrees to keep the heating bill down. She huddles by the stove, which is blowing dry gassy heat into the room. Out of cigarettes, she wants to walk to Cahaly's three blocks away. In this cold'! For cigarettes? --- She can't concentrate on my images; all she's thinking about are her ciggies."

From: Portraits at the Big Apple Circus


Cambridge sisters

Elsa: I have two sisters, and so of course, I am fascinated by the sister relationship.

Elsa about her portraits of Allen Ginsburg: "Allen always had a sense of what makes a picture work. As a subject he instinctively helped photographers get what they wanted. He could concentrate and relax at the same time. he could be THERE in front of the lens. Loss of consciousness. No self-consciousness. No reticense. Vanity reined in by a sense of, yes, STYLE."

You met Harvey Silverglate in Elsa Dorfman (first part). This picture is a somewhat younger version of her husband. Elsa: "I love taking pictures of Harvey, partly because it's a switch on the usual combination -- male photographer, female lover. I take pictures of him at the typewriter in his office, with his friends, naked in hotel rooms, rushing into surf at Nantucket, with his relatives in Miami."

self portrait

You see that chord attached to the Polaroid camera? I like to think about it as our connection to Elsa Dorfman, a great person and photographer. We are right now working on an interview with Elsa to be published here on the F Blog. So, stay tuned to F!
All pictures ©Elsa Dorfman
Text quoted from Elsa Dorfman´s site elsa.photo.net

invited by ulf fågelhammar

5 comments:

marcin said...

so good you are with us Elsa! thank you. it's pure pleasure to have this chance of meeting your pictures. I am waiting for more and more..

jeanne said...

Anyone who does not know Robert Creeley's poetry should! I was so thrilled to see him photographed here, by Elsa. And more from the archives --

So wonderful, so wonderful, so wonderful --

Now, all, go find Robert Creeley's poem "The Rain" and learn it by heart.

beatriz said...

beautiful formality given to the body...exquisitely sculptural.

chris said...

I sat for hours looking at your site Elsa, so much to explore and enjoy! Thanks for being here too!

/Christofer

GC said...

superb, wonderful, spiritual, magical...