Published by Damiani/Crump. Edited by James Crump. Text by Kevin Moore.
Los Angeles–based photographer Elena Dorfman’s latest body of work presents American rock quarries as geologic phenomena, both conceptually and representationally. In Dorfman’s epic tableaux, the ancient sedimentation and erosion found at these sites form the basis for her complex and highly layered compositions. “I manipulate and reconstruct the landscape,” she says, “reassembling the pictures just as the oldest rock begins at the bottom and works its way up to the surface.” Empire Falling presents the abandoned and active quarries of the Midwest in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Executed over the course of several years, Dorfman’s images record both the minute and radical workings of nature, as these spaces give way to human intervention and exploitation.
In her riveting new book, Fandomania, photographer Elena Dorfman examines the pop culture phenomenon of "cosplay," in which participants dress up in costumes--and live part of their lives--as characters from video games, animated films and Japanese graphic novels. The exploding cosplay subculture flourishes at convention centers, college dorms, private clubs and in homes across the country. Dorfman puts herself quietly behind the scenes of these fan-based events to create a remarkable collective portrait. As she describes it, "The theater of cosplay has no boundaries, is unpredictable, open-ended. It includes both the fantastic and the mundane, the sexually aberrant and innocent, female characters who become samurai warriors and brainy scientists, and male characters who magically change their sex." Explorations of identity through portraiture are at the forefront of Dorfman's work, with the blurred lines between fantasy and reality a continuing theme. She allows each individual a spotlight in which to enact his or her fantasy. The effect is pointedly evocative of this new world of role playing and narrative, one in which scenery is secondary and persona is everything. Comes with a special foam-bound cover and features an essay by Carlo McCormick.