PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
FULGUR PRESS

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9 x 13 in. / 144 pgs / 80 color / 3 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

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D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2019 p. 56   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781527236332 TRADE
List Price: $49.95 CDN $69.95

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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FULGUR PRESS

Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber

Edited with text by Allan Graubard. Text by Ira Cohen, Timothy Baum, Ian MacFadyen, Alice Farley, Ira Landgarten, Thurston Moore.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber.'

“Looking at your pictures is like looking through butterfly wings.” –Jimi Hendrix

Between 1968 and 1971, in a loft on New York's Jefferson Street, the poet, photographer and filmmaker Ira Cohen created some of the most mythic images of the late 1960s. Inspired by his friends Jack Smith and Bill Devore, Cohen’s initial experiments with black light developed into an experimental ritual space he termed the Mylar Chamber—a simple room of hinged boards hung with reflective Mylar film. Through his extended network, and with the support of artist and set designer Robert LaVigne, Cohen invited visitors to play another self within this small theater, among them Jimi Hendrix, William Burroughs, Vali Myers, Jack Smith, Angus MacLise, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Lionel Ziprin, Ching Ho Cheng, Petra Vogt, Charles Ludlam, John McLaughlin and the rock group Spirit.

In December 1969, in a summary of the past decade, Life magazine declared that “few came as close to explaining the euphoric distortions of hallucinogenics” as Cohen through his Mylar Chamber photographs, but the full story draws upon much deeper ideas surrounding identity and the power of the image.

This is the first book to explore Cohen’s iconic Mylar Chamber photographs. Published on the 50th anniversary of the Life magazine feature, and with several gatefolds, it includes more than 70 images from this intensely creative period, each digitally restored from the original negatives by Cohen’s friend and collaborator, Ira Landgarten. It also includes an interview with Cohen, excerpts from his poetry, critical writing from Allan Graubard and Ian MacFadyen and further reflections from Timothy Baum, Alice Farley and Thurston Moore.

Ira Cohen was born in the Bronx in 1935. A countercultural renaissance man, Cohen made films, photographs and poetry, edited the magazine Gnaoua and authored The Hashish Cookbook. Cohen became well known for his 1968 movie using the Mylar technique, The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, soundtracked by Angus MacLise, the original drummer of the Velvet Underground. In 2008 Nina Zivancevic, writing in NY Arts magazine, described Cohen’s life as “a sort of white magic produced by an alchemist who turned his back on the establishment in order to find God, art and poetry.” He died in 2011.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Midwest Book Review

James Cox

The extensive text describes the creation of these stunning, unusually warped images, as well as delving into the connections Ira Cohen and the (often famous) guests who agreed to be photographed. Captivating and extraordinary, Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber is utterly unforgettable...

Guardian

In a New York loft 50 years ago, poet, photographer and film-maker Ira Cohen hung reflective Mylar film on hinged boards, walls and ceiling, and invited visitors... to explore an experimental space.

Elephant

Emily Gosling

The trance-like feeling of Cohen’s Mylar images feels like a direct reflection of his main interests throughout the disciplines he explored—his work, in whatever medium, appears to be resolutely focused on the states of mind we can never quite explain. These are experiences that we often never truly “see” in an ocular, traditional way.

Huck

Sara Rosen

Photographer Ira Cohen was an avant-garde pioneer, mastering his craft in the era’s psychedelic art, rock and jazz scenes.

Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber

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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 10/29/2019

'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber' book launch at Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore

'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber' book launch at Artbook @ MoMA PS1 Bookstore

Between 1968 and 1971, in a loft on New York’s Jefferson Street, the poet, photographer and filmmaker Ira Cohen created some of the most mythic images of the late 1960s.

On Sunday, November 10, from 2–5 PM, to mark the publication of Into the Mylar Chamber, the first monograph devoted to Cohen’s work, limited numbered and signed bookplate copies will be on sale. Fulgur Press invites you to an afternoon of celebration, including live performances from musicians who worked with Cohen, Sylvie Degiez, Wayne Lopes and Michael James Hashim, readings of his poetry, an appearance by Alice Farley, recitals and images drawn from the book and the recorded voice of Cohen himself, reaching out from the past.

Pre-order signed bookplate copies of Into the Mylar Chamber with free shipping in the continental US at booksmomaps1@artbook.com. The event, presented by Artbook @ MoMA Bookstore in the MoMA PS1 Book Space, is free and open to the public.
continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/7/2020

Free embrace of the unknown in 'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber'

Free embrace of the unknown in 'Ira Cohen: Into the Mylar Chamber'

Jhil Prism [Jhil McEntyre] is reproduced from Into the Mylar Chamber, Fulgur Press's enlightening new large-format collection of poet, photographer and filmmaker Ira Cohen's late-60s ritual photographs made with friends and collaborators including William Burroughs, Jimi Hendrix, Jack Smith, Angus MacLise, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Alice Farley in a room enhanced with black light and reflective mylar walls. Farley writes, "It has always bothered me in my own dance and mask theater productions when audience comments, usually in the United States, are, such as this: ‘You must have LSD flowing through your veins’; ‘Is that an illustration of a dream?’; ‘Is that an imitation of a painting?’; ‘Is that an illustration of a hallucination?’ So, I find it unfortunate that some part of Ira Cohen’s reputation (thanks to a 1969 Life Magazine spread) lies in that he somehow managed to ‘illustrate’ the hallucinogenic or psychedelic experience. This is not what he did. An authentic vision arises from the fire at the back of the eye. It creates itself; it does not adhere to a formula. There is no map of the hallucinogenic or psychedelic experience, or of the poetic imagination as it arises from the unconscious. One learns from the dream, one does not try to reproduce it. All that there is to be learned is the free embrace of the unknown… that is what Ira Cohen knew. That is what Ira Cohen did." continue to blog


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